Minnesota High School Teacher Spends 20 Hours on Carnival Ride to Win $1K in Contest

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A Minnesota high school teacher lasted 20 hours on a carnival ride to win the "Ride the Tide Challenge" at the Mall of America.

Jim Salava, 40, of Oakdale, Minn., was declared the winner at the Nickelodeon Universe theme park when his final opponent stepped down at 2:35 a.m. Tuesday.

Salava was among 10 riders who boarded the Avatar Airbender at 6:30 a.m. Monday. The pool dwindled to three riders just three hours into the competition.

The Avatar Airbender averages 43 mph and reaches heights of 70 feet. Other than bathroom and meal breaks, contestants remained on the ride at all times — even to sleep.

The top prize includes a family cruise, $1,000 spending cash and a lifetime pass to the theme park.