Back when I was at school, the reward for getting good grades was at best a gold star. One high school in the US has taken it to a whole new level, awarding a top-performing student with a ‘gold bowtie’, or more specifically a brand new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro.

The winner was 14-year-old Kenzie Deaton of Byron Nelson High School in Fort Worth, Texas, who is still too young to drive it. Ms Deaton’s parents have reportedly offered to keep the pony car in shape until their daughter can legally enjoy her reward.

The competition included thousands of students from the Northwest Independent School District and operated like a raffle.

The number of raffle tickets each student has is determined by how good their grades are and also their class attendance. It is not known how many tickets Ms Deaton had in the draw.

Byron Nelson High School principal, Linda Parker, said the competition provided a tremendous incentive for students to focus harder on their studies.

“Secondary students are notorious, sometimes, for becoming lax in their grades and attendance. This is a motivation tool for them to work on their grades,” Ms Parker told NBC Dallas-Forth Worth.

Twenty-four runners-up received a Dell Streak 7 touch screen tablet.