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OSU grad drives Wienermobile

Molly Gray / The Lantern

Laura Moller graduated from Ohio State in 2009 with a degree in Spanish. When she began looking for jobs, she knew she wanted to travel. A family friend who had graduated two years earlier had worked as an Oscar Mayer Hotdogger, or Wienermobile driver, and encouraged Moller to apply.

The Wienermobile travels the country, making special appearances at numerous events such as college and NFL football games, retail stores and cultural fairs, Moller said.

“It was the perfect job,” Moller said. “I wanted to travel and do new things and [with this job] you get to travel across the country.”

Moller applied for the job between December and January of her senior year and was chosen for the position from hundreds of applicants. There are 12 Hotdoggers chosen each year, who work from June to June. They are assigned to a region with one partner for six months, after which they get a new region and partner for the next six months.

Moller has been working with partner David Denny, a recent graduate of Penn State University, and has been assigned to the Southeast region. 

“There’s so much random, cool stuff all across the country to see,” Moller said.

Moller and Denny have been invited to drive around the field between innings at several minor league baseball games across the country, were able to see the field from the movie “Field of Dreams” in Iowa and swam with sharks at the Georgia Aquarium.

The Hotdoggers’ motto is to “spread miles of smiles,” which they try to accomplish by waving to everyone they pass, as well as handing out Wienerwhistles, keychains and stickers.

People have asked for their autographs, and many people take pictures when they see the Wienermobile drive by.

“It’s so fun to see people’s reactions when you drive by,” Moller said. “Lately people have been zooming past us when we’re on the highway and pulling off so they can take pictures when we pass.”

There have been about 300 Hotdoggers since 1988. Moller and Denny are part of “Class 22” of Hotdoggers.

They are very close with the other members of their class and stay in daily contact with them. The two attended training together at Hot Dog High, where the new hires learn about Oscar Mayer history and products, how to plan special events and how to drive the Wienermobile, according to an Oscar Mayer press release.

“Driving this feels more natural than driving a car now,” Moller said.

The Wienermobile seats six people. Rides in the Wienermobile are usually very exclusive and tend to be auctioned off for charity, Moller said.

Moller and Denny usually spend between seven and 11 days in each city. 

Normally, five of those days are spent working and the others are free days. 

The Wienermobile has been around for 76 years and “is such a piece of America,” Denny said.

Moller and Denny have been working as Hotdoggers and traveling in the Wienermobile for four months now and both described it as “the perfect job.”

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” Moller said.

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