Big winner in Indy is EMU rower, who walks away with $100K

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The rower is a heck of a thrower.

Synene Maria Abukaram, an Eastern Michigan freshman who competes on the women's rowing team, doesn't need a scholarship anymore after winning $100,000 during halftime of the Michigan-Iowa Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Synene Maria Abukaram celebrates her victory in the Dr Pepper tuition challenge Saturday night.

Abukaram participated in Dr Pepper's annual tuition challenge, in which two competitors throw — OK, in recent years, contestants have found it's much more efficient to shovel-pass — footballs into giant inflatable soda cans, from 5 yards away. Abukaram got off to a slow start in the 30-second timed event, but rallied to beat a pharmacy student from the University of St. Joseph.

Abukaram, from Sylvania, Ohio, majors in athletic training at EMU.

Dr Pepper held the tuition giveaway contest in all of the Power Five football championship games Saturday. The winner received $100,000 toward tuition and the loser received $20,000.

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tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984