Siripong Toosadee from Thailand was crowned winner of the Last Palm Standing – Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge 2019 on Tuesday (Nov 5), after keeping his palm on a car for 76 hours, 55 minutes and five seconds.
For being the last person standing in the endurance competition, the 41-year-old, who works as dispatch driver, will be driving home a new Subaru Forester 2.0i-S EyeSight worth S$76,800.
It was Toosadee’s fifth time participating in the contest, which kicked off at 1pm on Saturday at the Civic Plaza of Ngee Ann City.
This is the 18th year of the Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge. And this year’s competition saw 400 contestants from nine Asian markets in this annual contest of endurance.
“The first thing in my mind was shock. I couldn’t hear or see anything and didn’t realise I won. I never thought that a normal person like me would win such a big prize. I wanted to challenge myself and my body and prove to myself that I can do this,” he said, sharing that he had trained with weights to get ready for the ordeal.
Toosadee added: "This prize is for my family. Once I get it, I’ll put them all in the car and drive them anywhere they want to go."
As for what colour he’d want his new ride to be – “Blue. I think I’m going to choose blue for my new car.”
But before that, it’s time to relax. After a grueling four days, the first thing he is looking forward to is having a drink. “I will celebrate with bubble tea with all the other contestants!”
Toosadee beat out his two toughest opponents – Luu Van Quoc from Vietnam and Singaporean Mazlinah Ahmad, who was also the only female contestant to have lasted this long.
Being the last woman standing, Mazlinah was a crowd favourite. The registered nurse who will turn 54 years old on Christmas Day was spotted massaging fellow contestants during their periodic five minute break.
Reaching the final three, she eventually dropped out – after her hand slipped from the palm print. But the popular contestant was still all smiles, waving to the crowd and organisers, and promising to "see you again next year".
On Tuesday morning, the event was temporarily halted due to bad weather, but even then, the 11 remaining contestants at that point were not allowed to sit down, lean on or touch anything.
Those who dropped out early on won’t go away empty-handed. Contestants who had crossed the first three-hour mark will win additional prizes worth up to S$10,000, while cash incentives were awarded to all participants for enduring a full 48 hours. An additional S$50 is awarded for every five hours on top of the 48.
“I feel it’s so much livelier this year with so much more engagment. We have also changed the game mechanics to include more incentives and prizes for the participants. There was such a great atmosphere, and a real sense of friendship and camaraderie between contestants,” said Debra Soon, head of Group Corporate Management at Tan Chong International Limited.