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Heuvelton man wins 2012 Camaro in Price Chopper contest

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Robert W. Lawton doesn’t consider himself the athletic type, but the Heuvelton man apparently has enough basketball prowess to win a 2012 Camaro 2LT Coupe.

He won the car at the 10th Annual Price Chopper Slam Dunk Shootout basketball contest March 31 at a Price Chopper store in Clifton Park.

“By the time we got to the last event, our hands were shaking so bad we couldn’t make a shot. I made it on the tenth try to win. It was like being a pro ball player for a day,” Mr. Lawton said Friday. “I’ve never won more than 20 bucks.”

Mr. Lawton said he became aware of the promotion after seeing it advertised on the back of a receipt from Price Chopper in Ogdensburg. He went online and registered, and shortly after was notified that he was one of 129 semi-finalists for the competition.

“I expected a shopping spree or some coupons. I didn’t expect to go compete in a contest for it,” he said.

Nonetheless, Mr. Lawton was one of approximately 100 contestants chosen from Price Chopper locations across six states.

He ran track in high school and has been involved in martial arts and the military in his adult life, but said the five events slated to whittle down the competition were daunting.

“I don’t play a lot of basketball,” he said.

First, contestants pushed an oversized basketball down an aisle using a shopping cart to knock down as many 2-liter bottles of Price Chopper soda as they could.

He then had to bounce a basketball into a shopping cart 15 feet away.

Winners of that event progressed to the “smart shopper shoot-out,” a product pricing game.

By then, only 10 semi-finalists were left.

“I realized at that point that I had a chance to win,” Mr. Lawton said.

Event four, “Slam Plunk,” was similar to the Plinko game on The Price is Right, except mini-basketballs were used instead of discs.

The highest and lowest scoring competitors moved on to the finals. They were Mr. Lawton and Sharon Farchione, Syracuse.

The pair missed nine consecutive shots each after spinning around a baseball bat three times and attempting a regulation free throw with a regular-sized basketball. On the 10th try, Mr. Lawton lobbed up a shot that struck the backboard hard and swished through the net.

“Whoever made the shot got to choose from the car and a 2011 Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster,” Mr. Lawton said. “I’ve got several bikes, so I went for the Camaro.”

Cindy Breslin, Price Chopper spokeswoman, said the Camaro was provided by the Snapple corporation.

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