ping pong ball drop

Freshman Cassandra Osborne collects a handful of ping pong balls, but none are prize-winning.

On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to take their mind off school and celebrate the end of the semester by watching over 1,000 ping pong balls be poured off the top of Patterson Office Tower for the annual University of Kentucky’s Student Activity Board event the “Ping Pong Ball Drop.”

Hundreds of students came prepared with umbrellas and plastic bags to scramble to collect as many as possible. Every year the opportunity is presented for students to collect the balls that are dropped in hopes of catching one that is specially marked. If they find one, they win a prize for doing so. Each marking corresponds to a different level of prize.

Prizes include blankets, t-shirts, AirPods, cameras and more. Students were able to redeem their prizes at the specially marked table at Barker Plaza next to Champions Kitchen.

“I got here about 20 minutes before it started. It paid off though because I lucked out and got one of the marked ping pong balls. I’m pretty excited to head over to the student center and see what I have won,” said sophomore mining engineering major and second year participator Sam Hoover.

“I think this event is a great way for students from all aspects of the university to come together and not think about the pressures of finals week coming up,” he continued. “I hope they keep it going the same way.” continued Hoover.

With this being a large tradition on campus, SAB’s co-directors of traditions kept it alive by abiding by the historical order of events.

“The tradition is to do it at 11:55 when people are in-between classes so that it pulls a lot of students,” said Courtney Marburger, president of SAB.

This has been a long-standing tradition that students have participated in since the 90s. The event is done to mark the ending of another academic year and help students unwind prior to finals week.

“This was my first year participating in the event so I was really excited,” said Rikiyah Pryor, a junior kinesiology major. “I didn’t expect there to be such a large crowd, so I didn’t get any of the prize-winning ping pong balls, but I still think it was neat to watch and am gonna try again next year for sure.”