The Best of Omaha™ contest, sponsored by Omaha Magazine, began in the mid-’80s. It started with votes from the magazine staff but eventually expanded to the public in 1992. Readers could vote for their favorite Omaha businesses and services on paper ballots and fax or mail them. Today, all of the voting is done electronically. By switching to online voting, the contest became more secure and added a sense of validity, allowing only one log-in per IP address during the voting period (July 1st – Sept. 30th).
As the contest gained more popularity, the categories also began to expand. There are currently 176 Best of Omaha™ categories with around 425,000 votes from around 20,000 voters. The five most popular categories are Grocery Store, Mexican Dining, Pizza, Bank, and Italian Dining. Most of the Best of Omaha™ winners don’t actually advertise with Omaha Magazine, so the businesses and services nominated in the contest can’t gain any headway by advertising.
The Best of Omaha™ results come out every year in Omaha Magazine ‘s January/February issue with a readership over 115,000 during the two month shelf-life.
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