The Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Allston, Massachusetts, became the target of an Internet prank last month, when it was picked by 4chan trolls to win a contest to host a concert headlined by singer-songwriter-Kennedy-dater Taylor Swift.
Thousands of votes came flooding in to the contest website, and Horace Mann quickly rose to the top of the leaderboard.
The Boston Globe reached out to the school's principal, Jeremiah Ford, in the contest's early days to ask him his opinion and Ford said he didn't mind the "mean-spirited" impetus behind the votes — his students "love live music," and winning would make them happy.
And so the school went on to win by a significant margin. But when it came time to announce the top five schools, Horace Mann was nowhere to be found.
Apparently the contest's sponsors, Papa John's and the textbook rental company Chegg, didn't approve of the way the school "got its votes," and decided to disqualify it.
Happily, however, they were not sent away empty-handed.
As a consolation prize, both sponsors donated $10,000 a piece to the school's music program, and Cover Girl, American Greetings, and Taylor Swift herself followed suit with $10,000 each. Additionally, Swift offered all Horace Mann students free tickets to see her perform live when she's in town.
"Are we the winner?" Ford asked the Globe rhetorically. "Absolutely."
[H/T: Dlisted, photo via AP]