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WV girl, 6, wins big in Uncle Ben’s cooking contest

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Tom Hindman Piper is interviewed by Matt Hurst, corporate affairs manager for Mars Food North America. Piper won $15,000 for her family and $30,000 for her school in a recent cooking contest sponsored by Uncle Ben’s.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Tom Hindman
Piper is interviewed by Matt Hurst, corporate affairs manager for Mars Food North America. Piper won $15,000 for her family and $30,000 for her school in a recent cooking contest sponsored by Uncle Ben’s.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When Piper King was informed that she had been chosen as one of the five grand-prize winners of the Uncle Ben’s brand Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest, she reacted in a typical 6-year-old fashion.

“She did somersaults,” laughed Piper’s father, T.J. King. “We were all doing them.”

Piper entered a three-minute video, which depicted her and her family in the kitchen making Piper’s Extra Sloppy Joes, a healthy recipe featuring Uncle Ben’s rice, for the contest in September. She was chosen as one of the top 25 finalists, and a public vote pushed her over the top last month.

T.J. said that although he was shocked when they received the call, he had felt confident in Piper’s chances.

“I had a feeling that we were going to win,” he said, “but even if we didn’t, I felt like a winner anyway. We were floored by the support we had. Love is strong in West Virginia.”

Piper’s win was announced publicly at a special assembly

at Edgewood Elementary on Tuesday.

“We launched Uncle Ben’s Beginners four years ago,” said Matt Hurst, a representative for Uncle Ben’s, during the presentation. “The whole idea was to bring families into the kitchen to cook together, like Piper and her family…

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