For most of Friday, overnight voting brought the Centralia Orphans into the lead of the USAToday Most Unique Mascot Contest National Finals, but the lead quickly fell when an opposing team put hundreds of voters online.
Calling themselves the “night owls,” late night Orphan voters closed an early gap that saw Centralia down more than 6 percent at times Thursday to the Carbon Dinos from Price, Utah.
The majority of Friday saw the Orphans holding first place with a nearly 43 percent lead. Less than 24 hours into voting for the 6-day contest, the Orphans had received more than 1.4 million votes. Just hours later, even 2.4 million votes for the Orphans wasn’t enough to maintain the lead and the Dinos resumed their spot with a 6 percent lead over Centralia.
To help the Orphans secure national recognition for the city, region and the state, go online to contest.usatodayhss.com or mightyorphans.com and vote as many times as you can. Remember to enter the “captcha” four digit code for each vote you submit. You can vote as many times as you like.
Centralia High School will be open every day at noon during Spring Break, which starts today, and will stay open as long as voters are willing to stay. They have computers, laptops and high-speed internet available to help with the voting efforts. There will be music, food and door prizes for those who in attendance.
The national finals started at 10 a.m. yesterday and will run through 2 p.m. Wednesday, when the winner will be named most unique mascot and will receive $2,000 for their athletic department.
No matter the outcome on Wednesday, the Orphans are already being recognized for their efforts in the USAToday contest. An Illinois House resolution filed by Rep. John Cavaletto of Salem recognizing the Orphans for their mascot battle was read into the record and was passed. The milestone is now a permanent part of Illinois’ legislative record and history.