The New York Lottery today announced Union Springs Central School in Union Springs, Cayuga County, was voted the winner of the Lottery's "New York Sings" Facebook contest. Union Springs will receive the contest's top prize of $10,000 to be used to support the school's music education program.
Union Springs Central School was one of four contest finalists from more than 240 submissions statewide. Videos from the top four finalists were posted on the NYS Lottery's Facebook page for judging by its fanbase. At the close of voting Thursday, March 27, Union Springs had received the most votes (22,915).
The singing contest was a key element in a now-concluded NYS Lottery advertising campaign that reminded New Yorkers of the lottery's core mission of providing aid for education across the state. The campaign helped build 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.
Prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 will also be awarded to the second and third place finishers to support music education with their respective schools:
•Second Place $5,000 - School of the Arts, Rochester - 9,934 votes
•Third Place $2,500 - Frederick Douglass Academy, Manhattan - 9,140 votes
"Congratulations to Union Springs Central School for winning the New York Lottery's 'New York Sings' contest," said Gardner Gurney, acting director of the division of the lottery. "All of the Union Springs students who participated in the contest did an excellent job, and we look forward to awarding the school the contest's top prize of $10,000. The response to this contest across the state from students, faculty and administrators illustrated the talent of students in New York state, and the dedication of school faculty and administrators. Thank you to everyone, including our Facebook fans."
Launched in February, the contest offered students the opportunity to film themselves singing their own interpretation of "Thank You For Being A Friend." The song, written by Andrew Gold, was made popular as the theme to the classic TV sitcom "The Golden Girls."
Since its inception in 1967, the New York Lottery has contributed more than $48 billion in aid to education in New York state. In fiscal year 2012-13, the NYS Lottery contributed $3.04 billion to local school districts.