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He came for the free pancakes – and left with a free car

Jul 12th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

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MondeoMAIN 1

WINNING HAND: Matthew Taylor (right) gets the keys to his win from student union manager David West.

BATTLING a full bladder, having clothes pegs stuck to his face, and getting sprayed with water guns were just some of the things student Matthew Taylor had to endure to win a car.

Matthew initially went along to a Waikato University student union event for the free pancakes, but ended up competing with 21 fellow students to “Keep the Car” by being the last one left with a hand on it.

The competition -  run by the Waikato Students’ Union as a part of mid-year orientation Re-O Week -  involved 22 students keeping at least one hand on a 1998 green Ford Mondeo at all times, for five hours.

Students were tempted with bar tabs to let go of the car: “The vast majority took bribes,” said Matthew (19).

Contestants were frequently given liquids to drink throughout the competition, including four mini Pump water bottles.

Matthew said the cold and going to the bathroom were the two worst things about the day.

“You had to improvise when you needed to use the toilet,” he said. “That’s probably why there were no girls left by the end.”

After the five hours were up, there were seven students still left in the competition, so it came down to a hat draw.

Matthew said he felt bad for the others who had been there the whole time but left empty handed.

Matthew already had a car, a 1993 green Subaru Impreza, which he said he would keep.

He will sell the Ford and use the money to buy an iPhone when the new version is released later this year.

Matthew said he had been putting aside $30 a week to buy an iPhone, but it would have taken him until after Christmas to save enough.

“It’s cool, because now I can just go get one when it comes out.”

Matthew is studying a Bachelor of Tourism and missed only one class while participating in the competition.

He has just been shortlisted for an internship to work on a cruise ship for four to six months, most likely travelling around the Great Barrier Reef.

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is a Whitireia journalism student originally hailing from Tauranga with a love for polar bears and airplanes. She is currently covering the Lyall Bay/Kilbirnie area of Wellington.
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