Another holiday season has drawn to a close. We’ve had three glorious weeks with our beloved hats. Now as we pack away the tinsel and the party horns, it’s time to put the hats back in their boxes for another year. Before we move on to 2014 with our bare heads (and our full hearts), let’s take a few moments to reminisce.
76,586 users from all over the network earned 214,172 hats this year – that’s just about twice the number of hats they earned last year. 95 sites opted to participate in Winter Bash, which is more than the total number of sites that simply existed during last year’s event.
The most commonly earned hat was the Old Hat, earned 74,631 times (by 35,589 distinct users). The least commonly earned public hat was Oh the Horror, earned just 46 times. And the rarest hat of all was the top-secret Don Draper, earned only 14 times across the whole network.
Something new we did this year was keeping the secret hats’ triggers… well, secret. Since the community asked so nicely, it’s now time to reveal the mysteries of the secret hats! In ascending order of rarity:
- Chuck Yeager was the most commonly earned secret hat, awarded first to Óscar López – the very first user to discover a secret hat. This hat was awarded to users who answered a question within an hour of it being posted, with their answer scoring 2 or more.
- With Great Power was awarded to moderators (elected or pro tem), former moderators, and Stack Exchange employees.
- Those who earned three hats in a single day earned Johnny Three-hats for their trouble.
- The Ghost of Winter Bash Past appeared only to those who earned a Necromancer badge.
- IG-88 was a less well-known bounty hunter, and the hat that bears his name went to users who tried for a bounty, but didn’t win it.
- I’m Not Listening was awarded to users who rejected a suggested edit on their own post.
- For I See Your Point, users had to leave 5 comments on a site meta, each comment scoring 2 or more.
- Before It Was Cool was awarded to forward-thinking users who asked a question with a brand new tag (that was not deleted or removed).
- Eureka! was awarded manually by SE staff to users who correctly determined (or guessed) the trigger for any of the secret hats.
- Don Draper, in homage to everyone’s favorite smooth-talking ad man, went to users who posted a community ad that received enough upvotes to be displayed on the site (usually 6).
And finally, we need to send a special shout-out to the top hat earner across the entire Stack Exchange network. This user earned a whopping 44 hats – all of the hats they were eligible for, missing only With Great Power due to not being a moderator. Please join me in giving the eminent Logan M a hearty round of applause!
Honorable mention is due to Manishearth, who held the network-wide lead for almost the entire duration of Winter Bash and was only edged out in the final hours by Logan M’s 44th hat. Well done to you both!
Lastly, we send our gratitude to each and every one of our users for the tireless and high-quality work you do throughout the year, even when there aren’t any hats to earn. Winter Bash is our chance to kick off our shoes and have some fun during the holiday season, and we hope you enjoyed it! The whole Stack Exchange team wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2014. That’s all, folks!