17:34 PM

The votes are in and it's official: “Phoebe” wins TPA's Name the Flamingo Contest

More than 37,000 votes are in and it's official: Phoebe is the name of TPA's famous flamingo sculpture. 

After Tampa International Airport received more than 65,000 entries in its Name the Flamingo contest, a panel of judges - made up of a group of Hillsborough County Aviation Authority employees – reviewed all submissions and narrowed them down to their three favorites for the flamingo featured in the Matthew Mazzotta art piece titled “HOME.” The judges carefully weighed the entries, meeting on multiple occasions to review and discuss. The judges also reviewed the reasons given for the name and selected their favorite. While Phoebe was submitted by multiple people, the judges favored one entry that had the strongest explanation behind it. flamingonames

Cora, Phoebe and Finn were selected as the three finalists and posted for public voting that took place between Friday, Dec. 30, and Monday, Jan. 2. During that time, more than 37,000 votes were cast on the Name the Flamingo contest website and a spirited online debate ensued. Phoebe received 16,122 votes with Cora coming in a close second at 14,341 votes. Finn finished in third place with 6,779 votes. 

J. Bryan M., 63, is a retired educator and the winner of our contest. He submitted Phoebe with the following reason: “A play on Phoenicopterus - the flamingo’s scientific name ‘Phoebe’ is also a playful alliterative to flamingo and means brilliantly inquisitive. The overall ‘Home’ sculpture is literally brilliant and reveals the flamingo’s inquisitiveness as it hunts for food in the shallows.”Phoebe 3

Bryan lives in Daytona Beach Shores and was born and raised in Florida. He called Tampa home during his childhood years. 

“I went to elementary school in Tampa, just a mile down the road from Busch Gardens,” Bryan said. “My career has taken me all over the country, but I moved back to Florida recently. When I heard about this contest, I wanted to enter. After working in higher education for 40 years, I thought I would submit a name that tied back to the scientific name for a flamingo.” 

For winning the contest, Bryan will receive a package of exciting prizes:

  • 4 roundtrip tickets from Silver Airways
  • A VIP Experience package to Busch Gardens, including 4 single-day admission tickets, 4 All Day-Dining passes, 4 Quick Queue Unlimited passes, and preferred parking