Tuesday, in a storm of social media celebration, Virginia Tech was named the winner of the Victoria’s Secret Collegiate Showdown.
Organized as a March-Madness style online voting competition, the event relied heavily on Facebook and Twitter promotion to encourage college students to cast votes for their school’s chance to win a back-to-school PINK party, complete with Victoria Secret PINK models, games, giveaways and a free concert.
Tech beat the University of Texas in the final round of the contest, which ended at noon.
“I was sitting online at noon waiting for the results,” said Allison Hudson, a sophomore hospitality and tourism and human resources management major. “They didn’t actually appear on my computer until 12:03 (p.m.). I just kept refreshing my screen, texting everyone I knew, checking Twitter, asking ‘Did we win? Did we win?’”
The contest spanned over six rounds and four weeks of voting, though it was only recently that many students, including Matt Armiger, a sophomore history major, began focusing on voting.
“I didn’t vote, I just didn’t have the time. But for the past couple of days, every other post has been ‘vote here,’” Armiger said.
Hudson said Facebook was a contributing factor in accelerating the voting process.
“At first, I didn’t really hear anything about it. Then last week, everyone on Facebook started getting really excited about it and wanted to vote as soon as possible. Every day, I had to log on and check the site and make sure I voted,” Hudson said.
To vote, students were required to sign up for a PINK Nation account, a promotional group for Victoria’s Secret PINK. Each registered member was allowed to cast one vote per day, per round of the competition.
However, some students — especially Siggi Simonarson — found ways to maximize their number of votes. Simonarson, a sophomore computer science major, created a link on his personal webpage, Siggisim.com, that allowed students to cast multiple votes a day for the competition.
Simonarson capitalized on a glitch in the Victoria’s Secret voting program, which allowed students to open multiple tabs before voting for the day, and then casting votes from each open window. Simonarson wrote code for a Web page that allowed users to open 50 separate voting screens in one Web browser window, enabling students to quickly submit massive amounts of votes.