The New York Lottery announced voting has begun for the "New York Sings" statewide singing contest featuring students from local public schools. The contest provides schools with an opportunity to win $10,000, $5,000 or $2,500 to benefit their music education programs.
Launched in February as part of the lottery's new mission for education campaign, the "New York Sings" contest offers students the opportunity to film themselves singing their own interpretation of "Thank You For Being A Friend." The song, written by Andrew Gold, is featured in the lottery's advertising campaign, and was made popular as the theme to the classic TV sitcom "The Golden Girls."
Finalists were selected by a panel from the lottery and their advertising agency, DDB New York, based on creativity and uniqueness, quality of presentation and display of talent. The top five finalists from more than 240 submissions received now have their videos posted on the New York Lottery's Facebook page for judging by the lottery's fanbase. The submissions came from schools all across New York state from the Plattsburgh area to Niagara Falls to Binghamton and Staten Island.
Voting for the best video begins runs through March 27. The lottery's Facebook fans will select the prizewinners, and the school with the most votes will win the top prize of $10,000 to benefit the school's music education program. Prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 will also be awarded to the second- and third-place finishers. The winners will be announced March 31.
"We are pleased to have received over 240 submissions for the 'New York Sings' contest from schools all across New York state," said Gardner Gurney, acting director of the Division of the Lottery. "There is an enormous amount of talent in our schools. Now we are encouraging all of the lottery's Facebook fans and new fans to start voting for their favorite video."
The singing contest is a key element in the lottery's new campaign, which reminds New Yorkers of the lottery's core mission: providing aid for education across the state. The campaign builds awareness of the lottery's mission by expressing appreciation for the role everyday New Yorkers play in helping to provide billions of dollars each year in lottery aid to education through the purchase of lottery tickets.
Since its inception in 1967, the New York Lottery has contributed more than $48 billion in aid to education in New York. In fiscal year 2012-13, the lottery contributed $3.04 billion to local school districts.