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SIU freshman wins free tuition after 2,000 students attend the men’s basketball home opener

Annabel Carr poses for her win
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University Communications and Marketing
SIU student Annabel Carr

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Annabel Carr, a Southern Illinois University Carbondale freshman from Edwardsville, Illinois, has won free tuition for the spring semester. She was chosen at random Nov. 7 when 2,000+ SIU students attended the first home men’s basketball game.

The crowd was the largest attended home-opening game for SIU since 2014, with 5,199 fans at Banterra Center. The Salukis defeated the Trojans from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock 94-63. Carr’s raffle ticket was drawn at the 2-minute mark of the second half.

"I was really surprised,” Carr said. “I headed to the game, going to watch and accepting that there was no chance I would win. And then when my number was called, I turned to my friends, and my jaw dropped. I was astonished. I think my favorite part was random people coming up to talk to me. It was so cool being on the court too."

The drawing for free tuition was part of the Pack the Pound promotion, organized by the Dawg Pound, a registered student organization that supports Saluki athletics.

"This was the best thing ever,” said Dawg Pound President Dylan Chambers, a sports administration major from Metropolis, Illinois. “I feel like this is really setting the tone on what the Dawg Pound is all about, and the students really showed up at the game. From showing up early, to being engaged in the game, the student section was amazing!"

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