Local College Student Wins $250,000 Gaming - New York News

Local College Student Wins $250,000 Gaming

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May's Landing, NJ -

Brian Dragotto never thought that the video game "Turbo Racing League" would put him on the fast track to 300,000 dollars.

"At first it seemed almost unrealistic," says Brian.

It's real alright and a whopping 250,000 dollars is the May's Landing teen's reality check.

The 19-year-old won by taking first place during the grand prize competition in Los Angeles back in July. He competed against the seven best of the 12 million people who downloaded the app.

It's a feeling of accomplishment and it's saying that all that time I put into it wasn't a waste," says Dragotto. "It makes you confident in rest of things you do in life."

To get to a championship game, Dragatto hunkered down daily in what's now called his "good luck chair." He played and practiced to get better at the game. The game is about a turbo charged snail. The game's part of a million dollar gaming promotion for the animated movie "Turbo."

"For three weeks, I put in 8 hours a day, 7 days a week," describes Brian. "Essentially, it was my job."

And it's ironic considering Dragatto only downloaded the app because he couldn't find a summer job while home from college in Ohio. All he wanted to do was win some gas money and score a few points and take his sweetie to dinner.

"I believed in him the whole time. I know he's one of people who has to be first," says Alyssa Raymond, Brian's girlfriend. Brian placed eighth in his first race, good enough to earn a check for 1,500 dollars.

"I didn't believe anything until the check cleared. Even the bank doubted. They didn't know who it was," says Kris Patron, Brian's mom.

But Brian kept on getting paid to play, racking up tens of thousands of dollars, and a first place win sent him to Los Angeles.

Though he's now the Turbo champ of the world, he'll remain focused on paying back student loans and his finance major. He does not dream of becoming a professional gamer.

"It's crossed my mind, but it takes out of social life and family life. Right now I have my girlfriend," he says.

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