April 21, 2023

Purdue senior headed out on the road with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Sam Dlott was selected as a driver of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
a male student, sam dlott, stands in front of the oscar mayer wienermobile which is a a long vehicle that resembles a hotdog
Sam Dlott stands in front of the world-famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

A senior in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Engineering will be spending the year after he graduates traveling the country in a hotdog. Sam Dlott was selected as a driver of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Dlott says he knew he became interested in the opportunity when he ran into the Wienermobile on his way up to Purdue his sophomore year.

“I fell in love with their mission to spread miles of smiles and the idea that a 27-ft long hot dog can spread so much joy to people around the country,” he says. “Because of this mission, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Drivers are known as Hotdoggers. Their job is to "meat" and greet people around the country. In addition to driving, Hotdoggers post to social media, answer questions about the Oscar Mayer brand and the Wienermobile, and hand out the company’s signature wiener whistles.

Dlott says his adventure begins with two weeks of training at Hot Dog High this June in Madison, WI.

“It will be 2 weeks of training then I am off on the road for my first region,” he says. “I will be in one region for the remainder of the year then switch co-pilots and regions at the new year! The majority of the role is interacting with people and the vehicle at all sorts of events.”

The Hotdoggers program began in 1988. Only college seniors who are about to graduate are eligible, and less than 1% of applicants are typically selected for 12 positions. Their assignment is for one year, traveling across 20,000 miles to more than 20 states, stopping at supermarkets, amusement parks, conventions, and other events along the way. Dlott says as far as he knows, he is the first Wienermobile driver from Purdue. He hopes to bring it to the west Lafayette campus this fall.

The first Wienermobile was created by Oscar Mayer's nephew, Carl G. Mayer, in 1936. The modern version of the 27-foot-long hotdog-shaped vehicle includes GPS, an audio center with a wireless microphone, and a horn that plays the Wiener Jingle.

Following his year as a Hotdogger, Dlott has accepted a job as a technology consultant with EY in Austin, Texas.