A 30-year-old Sri Lankan woman in Austin won a new car Wednesday by keeping her lips locked on it for 50 hours.
Dilini Jayasuriya got the keys to a 2017 Kia Optima LX after winning a drawing that included the six other people who had finished the “Kiss a Kia” contest held by 96.7 KISS FM radio at Southwest Kia in Round Rock.
Jayasuriya, who is married and works in a state health lab, is a native of Sri Lanka. She said she and her husband were sharing one car since she had to give up on her 1998 Toyota Camry because it broke down too much.
Her husband, Ashan Panagoda, was at Southwest Kia Round Rock on Wednesday morning when she won the car.
She called out to him, “I want to go to the beach,” before he gave her a big hug. Jayasuriya said she was surprised to win. There were times she felt like giving up during the contest, she said.
“I had a couple of freak-out moments like something was in my eye,” she said.
She said she would then tell herself she could keep going. The car Jayasuriya won is worth $23,108. The other six finalists who had kept their lips pressed to two cars on and off since 7 a.m. Monday won a variety of prizes, including Austin City Limits passes and tickets to Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and the Chainsmokers.
The competition started with 20 contestants but most never made it to the end because they took their lips off the cars they were kissing, either because they fell asleep, got distracted or just wanted to leave.
The contestants had a 10-minute break every hour. They also were required to rotate around the cars they were kissing and had to spend time sitting and standing. August Kostroun, a 36-year-old draftsman and designer from Round Rock, was one of the finalists.
He said the friends and family who texted him during the contest helped him last until the very end. The hardest part was when it was his turn to sit down, he said, because he would lose circulation in his legs and get cramps.
The event drew national attention and part of it was filmed by ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America.”
About 150 people initially entered the contest but a drawing narrowed that down to the 20 people who competed.
Anne Hudson, an on-air personality for the radio station, said she was not surprised that seven people lasted the full 50 hours. “They were determined,” she said.