Amos Robinson and five others stay stuck to Toyota Corolla for 117 hours
WASHINGTON--Feb. 3, 2014: Southeast DC resident Amos Robinson drew the winning key to unlock a brand-new Toyota Corolla before dozens of Washington Auto Show guests Sunday afternoon. Robinson and four others from among the original 10 Toyota Hands-On contestants were still remaining at the end of the contest, which began Tuesday afternoon at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Robinson raised his arms and cried "Thank you, God!" after successfully starting the Corolla engine.
"I wanted this so bad for my daughter!" Robinson tearfully exclaimed. "She's doing so well in college studying to be a news anchor. She stuck by me when I had breast cancer. I'm so thankful for this car!"
The other four contestants who persevered didn't go home empty-handed. Each received $500.
"I'm a little disappointed that I didn't win, but Amos deserved it more and I'm happy for him," said Odenton, MD resident Andres Quintero, who competed in the Hands-On Contest for a third time. Quintero had also made it to the end of the previous two contests, but did not draw the winning key.
The other finalists were Gloria Townsend of Northwest DC, Chantale Cole of Springdale, MD and Tony Le of Alexandria, VA.
Each contestant was allowed to bring only one blanket, one change of clothes and one set of toiletries. A regular break of exactly 15 minutes was scheduled every three hours.
For his part, Robinson said he saw the Toyota Hands-On Contest several years ago and said to himself, "One day, I'm going to do that." Robinson called the experience "life changing," having to sleep on the show floor and rely on friends to bring him food. "It made me appreciate life." Robinson planned to surprise his daughter, Asha Powell, with the news that he had won the car for her and said she's stood by his side as he endured the struggles of stage 2 breast cancer.
Congratulating the finalists on their perseverance were Gerry Murphy, producer of the Washington Auto Show and Kevin Reilly, show chairman. Tammy Darvish, vice president of Darcars, spoke on behalf of the Washington Area Toyota Dealers, which sponsored the contest.