College student finalist in National Lay's Competition

By Alyssa Donovan

March 1, 2013 Updated Mar 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill.-- Who knew a potato chip contest could turn your world upside down.

When Tyler Raineri from Lake Zurich Illinois entered the Lay's Do Us a Flavor competition, he never imagined his flavor Sriracha would make it to the finals.

Raineri said, "They chose me out of 3.8 million people."

The Illinois State University student will win $1 million if his chip flavor receives the most votes against the other 2 finalist flavors.

He said the flavor 'Sriracha' was inspired by his grandmother and his fraternity brothers.

Raineri said, "My grandma made homemade chips and we've always dipped stuff in sriracha sauce... anything... pasta... chips... and we have sriracha sauce in our kitchen here so that was another big part."

The college junior says that since becoming one of the three finalists his life has been a whirlwind… flying out to Texas to Frito Lays Headquarters...LA to film a commercial with Eva Longoria and New York to launch the campaign and hit up Good Morning America.

All while keeping up with his school work.

Raineri said, "It is rough, it's overwhelming but it's cool. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything."

Raineri said he tries not to fantasize too much about what he would do with the money, but he does have some ideas.

Raineri said, "I would donate a lot to our philanthropy the Jimmy V. Foundation and my cousin is a Special Olympics athlete so I would donate to the Special Olympics."

If you would like to vote for Raineri's 'Sriracha' flavored chips visit the Frito Lay's facebook fan page.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.