Teachers retract solicitations for help paying taxes on prize Dodge Viper won on 'The Price Is Right'

Sunday, March 11, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City couple who won a fancy new car but couldn't afford the taxes put up a Web site asking for donations to help them pay the taxes. But on Saturday they took the Web site down and told people they regretted asking for money.

Mary VanPelt won the 2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10 when she was on "The Price is Right" last summer. Taxes on the $86,743 car amounted to about $30,000.

So, somewhat sheepishly, the VanPelts sought donations to help meet their obligation to the Internal Revenue Service.

"We understand it's sort of selfish and silly," Mary VanPelt told The Kansas City Star. "But still, it would be nice to keep it."

Mary and her husband, John VanPelt, have an infant son and teach in northeast Kansas school districts.

But on Saturday a note was posted on the Web site saying John VanPelt wanted to apologize for the solicitation.

"To anyone visiting this site, I would like to apologize. This was a mistake," said the message that was signed John VanPelt. "Part of life is learning from our mistakes and I have done that. I have learned. I did not wish to offend or upset anyone. I did not wish to make anyone uncomfortable. I am truly sorry for what I have done. I will make it right."

The VanPelt's phone number was not listed, but they told The Star earlier that the Web site had drawn a few donations.

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