Student creates homemade vending machine in his locker

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KWCH) — A high school student in Kansas is getting a lot of attention from the entire world after he turned a school locker into a soda vending machine.

Blake Hawkins is a senior at Valley Center High. He’s the Student Body President and loves to build things.

“When I was younger I used to play with Legos and it just built upon itself,” Hawkins said.

One day, walking back from lunch he looked at a locker and had an idea.

“I really wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do that,” Hawkins said.

His idea? He calls it the soda locker. For $.75 you can get yourself one of two drinks.

“How about a mountain dew? Press the button, and down in the bottom, a can falls out,” Hawkins explained.

He told a few friends about it and that’s all it took. In just a few hours he says everyone knew about it and he was selling six cans a passing period.

“I think most of it is the novelty that you’re buying a pop from a vending machine inside of a locker,” Hawkins said.

Word also spread to administrators. One assistant principal found out, went to the locker and took pictures. Not to get him in trouble, but to SnapChat it to friends. He’s since had to shut it down because it violates two school rules, but he’s working with the administration to set something up at the school where he can sell something and donate the money to a club or program.

His story doesn’t end there. He entered his plans into a contest. To get more votes, he posted it to Imgur.

“I woke up and I guess my Imgur post had gotten a lot of up votes,” Hawkins said. “By the end of that day, I got over 500,000 views, just in a day.”

From there, the Daily Mail did a story on him that’s been shared nearly 3,000 times. The Discovery Channel contacted him as well.

“It’s just shocking, I really don’t know what to do,” Hawkins said. “I never thought I’d ever experience anything like this.”

This may be just the beginning for this high school senior. He plans to go to Wichita State, study electrical engineering, then one day own his own business. Maybe selling the invention he made inside his high school locker.

As for the contest he entered, he’s one of 36 finalists. Since there are 36 prizes, he is guaranteed a prize.

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