The Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Allston dominated a contest to bring Taylor Swift to its school for a private concert, but the online contest determined its votes were unfairly manipulated and disqualified the school.
But that doesn’t mean the school ended up with nothing. The “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” singer donated $10,000 to its music program (along with four other sponsors) and granted free tickets for everyone to her next concert in Boston. VH1 even donated $10,000 in musical instruments to the school through its “Save the Music” program.
In the end, the gifts showered upon the school might be even better than just a single show.
“Are we the winner? Absolutely,” the school’s principal Jeremiah Ford told Boston.com.
The school’s success in the contest began as a cruel internet prank by internet trolls on websites like 4chan, who thought it would be funny if Taylor performed for kids who are deaf or hard of hearing. They clearly didn’t realize that deaf people can enjoy music just as much as people who aren’t, through the vibrations that musical notes make.
Votes skyrocketed due to the prank and subsequent support for the school, which won the contest by a wide margin. But since it was disqualified for the way it ultimately got its votes, the winner turned out to be Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif.
The Horace Mann School can still be considered a big winner in this case. They get $50,000 in donations, a bunch of brand new musical equipment, and they still get to see Taylor Swift perform live.