It's the kind of story we're programmed to love and report: Man wins Lamborghini Murcielago, man drives Lamborghini, man wrecks Lamborghini six hours later. You'd think he'd be heartbroken, right? He's taking it well. Maybe it's because wrecking the Lamborghini was the best thing that could have happened to him. Could he even have crashed it intentionally?
UPDATE! David Dopp tried to get Jay Leno to buy the Lamborghini Gallardo before he crashed it.
By all accounts, David Dopp is a mild-mannered Frito-Lay truck driver from Santaquin, Utah. Exactly the kind of "Joe Schmo" that gas station operator Maverik hoped would win a $350K Lamborghini Murcielago in their "Joe Schmo to Lamborghini" contest. And win it he did.
This Saturday he collected the car and went for a little drive. A fast drive. According to his Facbeook page he'd been stopped by the cops almost immediately.
Then, six hours later, he was driving down South Ridge Farms Road when he spun the car out of control and wrecked it, causing severe damage to the Murcielago.
"We came around that corner and just started spinning," Dopp told InSantaquin.com.
Not totally surprising. He was reportedly barreling down a 35 mph section of icy road at 40-50 MPH. He'd just started driving the car and was unfamiliar with it.
Keep in mind that he is a professional driver.
Dopp, a truck driver for Frito-Lay, is no stranger to the road. "I'm a pretty good driver," he said in a phone interview today. "I drive for a living."
A Lamborghini isn't maybe the ideal choice for driving around in winter, but Murcielagos are AWD and popular winter supercars (at least when equipped with the proper tires).
Dopp then informed his friends on Facebook that it was true, he did wreck the car, but he was OK and not to worry because "we have insurance and "no one was hurt."
Despite the unfortunate crash, Dopp has appeared to be reacting with surprising good cheer.
Perhaps because it's not such a bad thing that it crashed. According to a Jalopnik tipster and acquaintance of the car's owner, Dopp had to put up his house for collateral just to take possession of the car and get insurance for it. Our tipster tells us he's "hoping it is totaled because if so, he'll get the full 300K for it. If not, it gets repaired an[d] he loses 100K to a wrecked title."
According to this same tipster, he was going to sell the car anyways because the taxes on the vehicle were going to be too high, possibly over $100,000. And sure enough, the terms of the contest (PDF) show he is responsible for other costs associated with the vehicle.
Terms and Conditions:
Winner is responsible for title, license, registration, dealer preparation costs, auto insurance and other fees and taxes associated with the Grand Prize.
Each winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes, registration or other expenses related to transfer of the Prize to the winner and paying any expenses associated with any Prize that are not specifically provided for in the official rules
A similar issue arose when Oprah gave brand-new Pontiacs to 276 of her guests seven years ago. A few of them discovered they'd have to pay $7,000 in taxes or give up the car.
If he keeps the car he's likely on the hook for more taxes than he probably makes in a year. If he totals it he might get full value for the car, giving him a reason to do so. But, if crashes the car and it's repairable he might have actually screwed himself over by devaluing the car, which means when he sells it he'll get significantly less money for it.
Whatever the real reason for the crash — and we may never know — it illustrates why giving "Joe Schmo" a Lamborghini isn't always the greatest idea.