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And the winning $20,000 tweet is...

We reported in November that KFC planned to award a $20,000 scholarship to the student who submitted the best tweet.

The best of the bunch, the judges decided, was a tweet from Amanda Russell, a student from Long Beach, Calif.: "#KFCScholar Hey Colonel! Your scholarship's the secret ingredient missing from my recipe for success! Got the grades, drive, just need cash!"

Twitter KFC officials said they sifted through more than 2,800 entries nationwide to find the very best one.

"With such an overwhelming response, the judging was extremely difficult," said John Cywinski, chief marketing and food innovation officer for KFC, in a press release. "While all entrants exemplified what it means to be a Colonel's Scholar, Amanda displayed a combination of wit and drive that clearly stood out. We are very proud that she is our newest Scholar."

Amanda, who has a 3.9 GPA, is thinking about pursuing a career in medicine. She hasn't decided where she wants to go to college. Her parents -- both teachers -- are no doubt thankful for the scholarship, especially given the fact that they have two younger children to put through college, after Amanda.

Other entries in the contest ran the gamut: earnest, humorous, rhyming -- even the hint of bribery:

From Rosemary Fajardo: "As I holler to #KFCScholar for a chance to cut mom's stress, w/ 150 service hrs I also want to help others through medical & music progress."

Elina Gulumian: #KFCscholar I've eaten KFC all my life and now am morbidly obese. I want some happiness in my life. $20,000 should cover my liposuction."

Briona McCall: "I want to be the 1 you're pickin, the 1 who's always eating your chicken. Pick me for the 20k, I could use that over this way. #KFCScholar."

Sarah Smith: "I'm a lot like KFC's famous bowls. I have many layers (many talents) that all come together to make one "delicious" person. #kfcscholar"

Katlyn Glaser: "If I can obtain the money to earn my ideal Journalism degree, I will write nothing but good reviews on your food. #KFCScholar"

- Mary Pasciak

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Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

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Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

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Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

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