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Local Student Wins Car In Giveaway To Support Children's Hospital

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It sometimes seems like everywhere you turn, there is another contest to win some huge prize. Sometimes, you don't even have to play to win.

It couldn't go to a better person. So, I mean, it's really special and it seems like every year there's a really great story behind the person who won, and this year's no different," said Kevin O'Connell, the spokesman for Eat 'n Park.

For 34 years, Eat 'n Park has been giving away a car to help Children's Hospital.

This year's winner is Brendan Dawson, a college student in Seminary at Duquesne. Right after finishing final exams, he got the call that he won.

"With something this big there's always that temptation to think that, and when they asked me if I bought the ticket, I thought in my mind, 'Well, no I didn't.' But I thought my mom has been buying these tickets for all this time," said Dawson. "So I thought, you know, I bet my mom did, so I told them yes."

His mother, Peggy, bought about 10 tickets at the Eat 'n Park at the Waterfront. She scrawled some names on the tickets and never thought twice about it.

Three of my children are old enough to win a car, my youngest one isn't; but then I have nieces and nephews, so I buy them for all them," said Peggy Dawson, Brendan's mother.

And the one she bought for Brendan won. He is very appreciative and not just for the new wheels.

"I think that's what I'm even more thankful for. I mean the car is a tremendous blessing but the work that Ford and Eat 'n Park have done for Children's Hospital for such a long time, it's just a tremendous testament to their commitment to children in our area and their family," Dawson added.

Eat 'n Park sold a record 77,000 tickets this year and raised more than $150,000 for Children's Hospital. This year's car is a 2013 Ford Escape.

"We come to work and put the key in the door and life goes on for us. It doesn't for everybody, so the Caring for Kids program – for us to be a part of that – it's really special," said Richard Bazzy, of Shults Ford.

And a Pittsburgh tradition for more than three decades.

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