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Eastern Iowa man wins auctioneer contest at fair

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DES MOINES (AP) An eastern Iowa man has been crowned the top auctioneer of an annual bid calling contest at the Iowa State Fair, and he says he will donate the prize money to the families of four teenage boys killed earlier this month.

Tim Markham, of Holy Cross, was named the winner of the Iowa State Champion Auctioneer Contest on Tuesday. He was one of 20 contestants vying for the championship title.

Markham, a full-time auctioneer, says he will donate his $1,000 prize to the families of four boys killed in a utility vehicle accident in Dubuque County on Aug. 2.

The bid calling contest was organized by the Iowa Auctioneers Association. The contestants were judged on speed, salesmanship and appearance, among other factors, as they sold random items to the audience.