All hands on deck for free-car contest

On Tuesday, 10 people began competing to win this Toyota Corolla. (WTOP/Max Smith)

WASHINGTON – Ten people from across the Washington area are seeing just how far they can go for a free car.

The 10 contestants began touching the blue Toyota Corolla at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and they’ll have to keep in contact with it constantly through Sunday in order to win. They only get 15-minute breaks every three hours around the clock.

By Thursday, five contestants were left.

The winner is scheduled to be declared just after noon on Super Bowl Sunday. If more than one person is still touching the car, the contestants will randomly draw keys, and the person who draws the one that starts the ignition will win.

The contestants had to apply with a short essay.

The Washington Auto Show provides these bios:

  • Eliminated: Candice Jackson, of Belstville, Md., who wrote that a car would help shorten her hour-long commute and enable her to help her mother with transportation.
  • Eliminated Wednesday (she missed her dog): Darlene Thompson, of Stafford, Va., who wrote that she drives “the worst- looking car in the whole metro DC area.”
  • Eliminated Tuesday night: Mary Campisi, of Arlington, Va., who wrote that a car would relieve her difficult commute by bike for the last two and a half years.
  • Amos Robinson, of Southeast D.C., who wants the car as a reward to his 18- year-old daughter for her outstanding grades in college.
  • Tony Le, of Alexandria, Va., a U.S. Navy Submariner, who aims to represent those who were lost on the tragic shooting in the Navy Yard, the USS Santa Fe SSN- 763 that is on deployment and the U.S. Navy.
  • Eliminated: Tyree Crossland, of Capitol Heights, Md., a disabled Air Force veteran on a fixed income, who has not been able to afford repairing the transmission in his current car.
  • Eliminated: Christian Garcia, a college sophomore living at home in Bladensburg, Md. and sharing a car with his mom and who wants to win the car for her.
  • Andres Quintero, of Odenton, Md., who made it to the bitter end of the 2003 and 2006 Hands-On Contest and wrote: “I think the third time will be the charm!”
  • Gloria Townsend, of Northwest D.C., who is retired from the D.C. Fire Department and says she is “ready for a chance to treat myself to some fun.”
  • Chantale Cole, of Springdale, Md., who is hoping for a new car to replace the current one in disrepair that she uses for herself and her twin boys.

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