Student Miller wins $100,000 Dr Pepper Giveaway

Karla Miller of Hesston, Kan., and a freshman at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, won the $100,000 tuition grand prize as part of the Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway by completing the most football throws into an oversized Dr Pepper can replica during the PAC-12 championship game on Nov. 30.

Miller submitted a video online at Dr explaining why she deserved to win tuition money and how she would like to use her education to make an impact on the world.

She competed against fellow grand prize finalist, Jacob Desatoff from Costa Mesa, Calif., who took home $23,000 in tuition money. She completed 18 football throws in 30 seconds and her opponent scored 16 throws.

Although Dr Pepper hosted the event, Miller said she knows it was the Lord who really opened the door and provided the money for her.

“My parents are both ministers, and they don’t really make a lot of money,” Miller said. “It’s not cheap attending a school like SAGU, but I know this is where the Lord wants me to be. I came to school here completely on faith, trusting that God would provide the funds necessary for me to be here. And it’s awesome the way he chose to do that.”

She said it was her mother’s prompting that led her to enter the contest, and the idea of putting together a video to enter terrified her.

“I had no idea what to say or do for the video,” Miller said. “I knew I was supposed to tell why I deserved the money and what my plans for the future were. But I didn’t really know anything about putting a video together.”

Taking a moment to pray, Miller said she needed the Lord’s direction on what to say and do in the video. She communicated that her parents are ministers who are trying to put three students through college. And how winning the competition would not only benefit her, but also take some of the pressure off of her parents.

“When I finished the video, my thoughts were, ‘this is the worst video ever,’” she said. “But I prayed over it and sent it in.”

Miller’s adopted brother from Haiti had also submitted a video and never received a reply, so she thought the chances of them choosing her video were miniscule. But when she received the phone call that she had won a $2,500 scholarship and a chance to win $100,000 she said she was in complete disbelief.

“They called me in the middle of the day and during my nap,” Miller said laughing. “So when the phone initially rang, I wasn’t very happy. I didn’t recognize the number and thought 'Who would be calling me in the middle of the day.'”

Once the caller identified herself, Miller said she began 'flipping out.'

“When she told me who she was and that she was calling to inform me that I was one of 15 finalists for the $100,000 scholarship, I started going crazy,” Miller said. “I knew there had been so many people who entered the contest and never thought I would make the finals.”

Miller said she is still in shock over everything that has happened, but recognizes it as a major blessing.

“This is just such a blessing and serious answer to prayer,” she said. “I feel so unworthy, but I know God loves me and this was an awesome faith booster.”

She said it has always been her goal to be more than an average college student. She wants to make a difference and have an impact on the world. She is working toward an associate degree in church ministries and hopes to serve on the mission field as a full-time midwife.



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