Minnesota News

Who can follow Betty Whiteout? MnDOT wants your snowplow name ideas

Snowplows on a snow-covered highway.
Snowplows move through snow-covered Interstate 494 in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., as a major winter storm hits southern Minnesota on Dec. 10.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News file

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is once again taking nominations for snowplow names — searching for new monikers to join last winter’s tribute to TV star Betty White.

It’s the third year of the contest, which puts a name on a snowplow in each of MnDOT’s eight districts around the state. The first year's winners included “Plowy McPlowface,” a nod to a naval marine naming contest gone askew in the UK in 2016.

Other winners that year included two Star Wars references — “Darth Blader” and “Snowbi Wan Kenobi” — and the Minnesotanism, “Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya.”

The contest apparently had several origins, including recent practice in Scotland, where schoolchildren named fleets of snowplows. Anoka County’s snowplow naming contest at the county fair dates back to 2004.

Last winter’s top MnDOT vote-getter, “Betty Whiteout,” was a posthumous honor to the star who played Minnesota native Rose Nylund in the sitcom “The Golden Girls.” White, who also played another iconic Minnesotan character on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, died last New Year’s Eve, less than three weeks from her 100th birthday.

The snowplow tribute to the TV legend was among 22,000 ideas submitted last year. MnDOT is taking entries for this winter online through Dec. 16. There is one entry per person, and entries must be 30 characters or less — and MnDOT said they can't be political or profane.

An online poll among the finalists selected by MnDOT will determine the winners.

Plowy McPlowFace
Plowy McPlowFace was one of the winning entries in MnDOT's first Name-a-Snowplow contest.

Past MnDOT “Name-a-Snowplow” contest winners

Winter 2020-21

  • Plowy McPlowFace

  • Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya

  • Duck Duck Orange Truck

  • Plow Bunyan

  • Snowbi Wan Kenobi

  • F. Salt Fitzgerald

  • Darth Blader

  • The Truck Formerly Known As Plow

Winter 2021-22

  • Betty Whiteout

  • Ctrl Salt Delete

  • The Big Leplowski

  • Plowasaurus Rex

  • Scoop Dogg

  • Blizzard of Oz

  • No More Mr. Ice Guy

  • Edward Blizzardhands

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