A Dad Promised His Daughter Cash For Each Exam She Aced – But Regretted It When His Pledge Backfired

For teenagers across the world, results day is one of the most nerve-racking moments of their lives. Molly Rowlands can certainly attest to that, as she picked up her G.C.S.E. results in August 2018. However, after passing her exams with flying colors, an old pledge from her dad, Clive, backfired.

A resident of Rhondda, Wales, Molly had aspirations to study for A-Levels following her time at Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda secondary school. Keeping that goal in mind, the 16-year-old focused on her 14 G.C.S.E. subjects, which included English, triple science, computer science and geography.

With the exams approaching, Molly proved her dedication to getting the best marks possible, studying for several hours each night. The revision didn’t end there, though, as the teenager also devoted her weekends to topping up her knowledge ahead of the tests. However, not even she could’ve predicted what happened next.

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After the exams, Molly returned to school on August 23, 2018 to pick up her results. Incredibly, she passed all 14 subjects with an A* grade, leaving her stunned. “I worked so hard but I never thought it would actually happen,” the teenager told Wales Online later that month.

“I came to school a bit late and then I opened the envelope with my friend,” Molly continued. “When I opened the results I was just in tears – I burst out crying. I spoke to one of my teachers and he said they were the best results the school has ever seen.” Following the teenager’s remarkable achievement, though, an old pledge came to light.

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At the start of Molly’s penultimate year at school, her dad Clive made her an interesting promise. When talking about the G.C.S.E. exams, he said that for every A* she earned, he would pay the teenager £100. However, while that pledge started out as something of a joke, Clive’s words backfired when his daughter received her results.

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“It was two years ago now and it was a bit of a joke at the time,” Clive recalled to Wales Online. “I had a bit of a shock when I heard [the results].” Indeed, after earning an A* in all of her subjects, Molly was due a rather lovely £1,400 from her stunned father.

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Despite Clive’s promise, though, Molly insists that the money wasn’t a motivating factor ahead of the exams. Indeed, much like her dad, the 16-year-old saw the pledge as a joke at first, and as time went on it quickly became a running gag in her family.

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“It started out as a family joke that soon became a bit of a talking point,” Molly told Wales Online. “It [first came up] two years ago, before I started my exams. I was just joking around saying what are you going to give me when I pass – [my dad] said, ‘£100 for every A*.’ We were only joking.”

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However, the teasing started to escalate ahead of results day, with Molly prodding her father as the moment drew near. “‘How much do you think it will be?’” she recalled asking Clive during that period. “It just shows that I really didn’t know what results I would get.”

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After Molly discovered her perfect marks at school, she also got something from her father. “On results day I was given a card with a blank check inside,” the 16-year-old told Wales Online. “It was just a joke – but a few of my dad’s friends knew about it and kept winding him up. We kept the joke going really.”

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Despite the jovial origins of the pledge, though, Clive’s promise sparked a lively online debate, as people discussed the rights and wrongs of his vow. Indeed, the comments section of the Wales Online article covering this story was particularly feisty, with users unafraid of stating their opinions.

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“I sat my O-Levels about 50 years ago,” wrote user abertawemerch. “I was [also] given an incentive by my parents – £1 if I passed them all. Needless to say their money was safe, but my point is the money this girl’s father offered was not a bribe.”

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“[The money] is an incentive,” abertawemerch continued. “Just like anything in life – you know you have to work hard if you can see a great goal ahead.” However, those feelings weren’t shared by fellow user WelshWarlord, who questioned Clive’s decision to offer Molly a cash reward.

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“Parents should motivate through [showing] their kids [what they] can achieve for themselves and others,” WelshWarlord wrote in the comments section. “Not through money.” The disagreements didn’t end there, though, as another user admitted that they made a similar promise to their children.

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“[The money is] called encouragement,” wrote Dor123. “I did the same with mine. £10 for anything below a C, £20 for a B, £40 for an A and an A* was £50. It encourages and motivates.” Meanwhile, as the debate continued to rage, Molly spoke about her ambitions in greater detail, looking ahead to the future.

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“Next year I hope to stay on for A-Levels,” Molly told Wales Online. “[In fact] I want to study math, biology, chemistry and English. “[Career-wise] I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I definitely want to go to university. I knew I couldn’t have worked any harder, but after the exams I was uncertain [what the results would be].”

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Indeed, the anxiety Molly felt in the lead up to results day continued to grow, showing no signs of easing up. “The longer I waited for the results the more I thought I had failed,” she went on. “It was like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders.”

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However, unsurprisingly, that weight lifted when the teenager finally saw her marks. To celebrate the occasion, the 16-year-old was off to a garden party with her school friends. Ahead of that, though, Molly shared some words that Clive told her during her hours of studying.

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“It’s just down to really hard work,” Molly said. “My father always said you get out what you put in, and that has been proved right today.” Indeed, while Clive might find himself £1,400 out of pocket, the reason why will undoubtedly soften the blow to his wallet.

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