A snowplow in southwestern Minnesota will soon be named "Betty Whiteout."
The moniker is a nod to the actress and comedian Betty White, who died in December at age 99. It received the most votes during the Minnesota Department of Transportation's second "Name a Snowplow" contest, in which the agency sought clever names for eight of its large orange trucks it sends out to clear snow and ice from the roads.
Nearly 60,000 people participated in the monthlong contest, which allowed them to vote for up to eight choices. The ballot contained 50 suggestions, which were winnowed down from 22,000 ideas submitted by the public. The 50 names were determined by considering several factors, including how creative or unique the name was, whether it would be understandable or identifiable to broad audiences, and the frequency of submissions.
After plowing through the votes, "Betty Whitetout" cruised to victory with more than 40,000 votes. That was far less than last year's top vote-getter — Plowy McPlowFace received 65,292 — but double the number of the second-place winner, Ctrl Salt Delete, with just over 21,000 votes.
Finishing third through eighth were the Big Leplowski, Plowasaurus Rex, Scoop Dogg, Blizzard of Oz, No More Mr. Ice Guy and Edward Blizzardhands.
One plow in each of MnDOT's eight districts will be named later this month. Totals for the 50 finalists are available on contest webpage.