Spouses compete for prizes at the fair

Last updated: August 15. 2014 4:18PM - 502 Views
By Kevin Lyon Democrat intern

George Topel, of Blackburn, won the Husband/Wife Calling Competition by holding a $100 bill out on Thursday at the Missouri State Fair.
George Topel, of Blackburn, won the Husband/Wife Calling Competition by holding a $100 bill out on Thursday at the Missouri State Fair.
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Ten contestants faced off against one another at the Touchstone Energy Stage to see who had the most original method of calling for their spouse. Contestants did everything from physically calling their spouse on the phone to offering a $100 bill to attract them. They were competing for a chance to get inside the Money Machine, where the winner would have 30 seconds to try and collect as many $1 and $5 bills, lottery vouchers and ice cream rewards as possible.

The contest began with announcer Missy Mays, of Sedalia, calling for contestants to walk to the stage and volunteer a few minutes after 6 p.m. When ten contestants stood up, Mays went down the line and had each of them say their funniest call. The first calling event had happened in the morning, as kids found out the best ways to call their moms. Both competitions were parts of ‘Women in Agriculture’ day at the fair.

“They had events like this last year,” Hannah Wilson, a University of Missouri marketing intern, said. “We just thought it would tie in really well with the theme for the day.”

One contestant joked that nothing he said could be held against him in a court of law as he made a call for his wife like he was a rooster seeing the sun. Chuckles from the crowd filled the tent as his wife doubled over with laughter. All the contestants competed on both who could be the funniest and who had the best delivery of their call. Around 100 people sat and watched the show and laughed along as contestants did everything from calling their spouse ‘lover girl’ to squealing like pigs.

George Topel, of Blackburn, won when all he did was present a $100 bill to announcer Missy Mays, causing the crowd to break out in laughter. When the winner was selected by applause, George won overwhelmingly.

“I was single for 30 years,” Topel said with a grin, “and I never had a woman say no to that.”

Topel walked with a cane for a spinal condition, so his wife Jeanne Topel actually competed inside the Money Machine. As ‘One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater’ played, she stepped inside the wind machine and tried to grab as many dollar bills and vouchers as she could and stuff them into a small slot inside the machine.

“It’s very hard,” Jeanne Topel said. “You can’t just catch the money, you have to put it through that little slot.

She won $2, two Missouri lottery vouchers and a free ice cream cone from McDonalds. From start to finish the contest took about 30 minutes.

“No matter what,” Mays quipped, “you’ve still got that $100.”

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