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What do you think were the most popular stories on this year? Let us know and you may win (or lose, depending on how you look at it).

I have been compiling statistics for a year-end look at what caught your attention on  in 2009. On New Years Day I plan to list the top 20 most popular postings for the year.

The grand prize sure isn't anything to look at.
The grand prize sure isn't anything to look at.

As I am putting this together, I would like to hear your guesses on the top 5 most popular stories on the blog. The stories that you think likely grabbed the most pageviews. This is based on a single posting (not including our news digest, Quick Takes). While some stories may have been covered in a couple of different entries, I am only counting a story once for the top 20 (and top 5) listings.

Be specific. Don’t just list a jurisdiction, tell me the story from that jurisdiction.

The winner would need to get the top 5 in the right order. If no one is able to do that we will go to the top 5 in any order. If we have to, in order to find a winner, we will then move to the top 4 in order, followed by having the top 4 in any order. If you are all really bad guessers we will move on to the top 3 (and so on). If there is a tie, we will put the names in an old tin fire helmet and have Sam Statter draw the winner.

Now the prize. The winner gets lunch with the editor of on Statter’s dime. It might be better to go for second place, where you don’t have to have lunch with me (actually, there is only one winner and no second place). 

If you win, and live in the Washington area, we can pick a mutually agreeable time and location. If you don’t, I will be glad to send you a $20 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice in your home town. If you are too fat (like me) and don’t want lunch, I will be more than happy to donate the money for both our meals to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (which I will also do if the winner does not provide a valid email). 

The ONLY way to enter is by sending an email to [email protected]. The deadline for entries is noon on Wednesday, December 30, 2009. Please, only one entry per email address (if there are multiple entries, only the first one will count).

That said, you are, of course, free to discuss this topic, put up a list, kick around what you think are the most important stories of the year (possibly different than the most popular) or even tell Dave how full of himself he is in the comments section below. But remember, anything in the comments section will NOT be considered an entry into the contest.

I will give you one hint. The top story was well ahead of any other story this year. It beat number 2 by 43%. If  I allowed multiple entries for a story it would also take up slots 2, 3 and 4.

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