A Brick, New Jersey, teen could win $10,000 for his prom tuxedo — which is made from duct tape and has a decidedly patriotic theme.
What are the details?
Nicholas Matawa, 18, reportedly spent 34 hours creating the tux, using 29 rolls of duct tape in the process.
He entered the design in the “Stuck at Prom” scholarship contest by Duck Brand for a chance to win $10,000 — which his mother says he plans to use for college, should judges select his tux as the winner.
About his entry, Matawa says, “My prom’s theme was ‘Around the World’ so the first thing I thought to myself was that ‘Hey, I love my country, how do [i]ncorporate that into my project’ and I think that from head to toe I hit that feeling of patriotism that I was aiming for.”
“The hardest part of the project wasn’t working with the material, but rather locating the specific color or design of tape needed to complete the project,” he added. “Not every store stocks up with all the shades and prints that are available. A great example is when I was creating the shoes I wanted them to have a little more contrast so I decided I wanted to use a white sparkle duct tape, which took me trips to four different stores just to locate a single roll of it.”
“What surprises me the most is that whenever I mentioned to somebody that it (the tuxedo.) is made out of duct tape they are flabbergasted and amazed that such a feat can be achieved with duct tape and duct tape alone,” Matawa added in his entry.
What will he do if he wins?
He told Fox News that if he wins, Matawa wants to use the money to put toward tuition at Marshall University in West Virginia.
According to Fox, Matawa plans to study radio and television production, if he can afford to go.
Matawa’s mother, Renee Nitti, told NJ.com that his winning the contest is a deciding factor in if her son will be able to attend Marshall.
Nitti told the outlet that his financial aid assistance simply isn’t enough to cover the tuition, and that is why she and her son were seeking out scholarship opportunities through contests.
Matawa did wear the tux to prom in May.
The winner of the competition will be announced July 9.
What did the mayor say?
Last week, the mayor of Brick tweeted about Matawa and his desire to win the scholarship.
He wrote, “Ok Brick. Let’s support Nicholas Matawa. He’s up for a $10,000 scholarship. Prom tux out of duct tape. He’ll be going to Marshall Univ where the National Autism Training Center is licated [sic].”
Ok Brick. Let’s support Nicholas Matawa. He’s up for a $10,000 scholarship. Prom tux out of duct tape. He’ll be going to Marshall Univ where the National Autism Training Center is licated. https://t.co/MW9KrT4alg… pic.twitter.com/akOHaSSe2y
— Mayor Ducey (@MayorDucey) June 15, 2018
Nitti told NJ.com that the family’s income is limited because she is a single mother who receives disability benefits.
Matawa also revealed that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s and cerebral palsy as a child.
A doctor once reportedly told Nitti that her son would be lucky if he even graduated from high school.
According to the outlet, Matawa is drawn to the school for its reputation of resilience — specifically after the 1970 jet crash that killed most of the university’s football team.
“It shows that they can overcome,” Matawa explained. “That perseverance is embodied in the student body there. … That really synchronized and was relevant to me as a person.”