When 8-year-old Sophia Tingley of Gig Harbor had her mom fill out a sweepstakes entry form in the back of a Costco-purchased Brain Quest workbook last summer, she really didn't think she would win.
That all changed recently when the Harbor Heights Elementary School third-grader found out she had won the Brain Quest Sweepstakes first prize $5,000 scholarship for college tuition.
The soft-spoken Tingley said she was amazed her name was picked, that she really did not think she would win.
Her mother, Amy, agreed.
"Well, I was excited. I got it as an email," she said, admitting her first reaction was that it was a scam.
Then she remembered her daughter having her fill out the entry form.
"She encouraged me to fill it out," she said.
Mother and daughter were both happy about the win.
"She was pretty excited," she said of her daughter's reaction to the good news. "That's very cool."
The sweepstakes is part of partnership between Brain Quest, a company that produces educational game and learning series, and the Chrysler automobile company. The two teamed up last year for a year-long marketing campaign featuring a 100-city road tour delivering educational activities and events to a select number of fundraising test drives.
"This comprehensive initiative partners two leaders in their respective industries who will execute hundreds of fundraising events for schools and students across the country, along with the opportunity to express our gratitude to teachers," said Chrysler President and CEO Saad Chehab in a press release from last year.
A grand prize winner was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. Tingley took the $5,000 first prize. Eighteen runners-up will get an Apple iPad2.
Tingley doesn't know where she wants to go to college yet, but she does know what she wants to be when she grows up.
"I want to be an artist," she said, adding she does some painting now when she has the chance.
Assuming Tingley goes to college, the scholarship money will be paid directly to whichever institution of higher learning she decides to attend.
Reporter Brett Davis can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @gateway_brett.