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After a late surge of votes, Ben Franklin has been officially crowned the Ultimate Philly Thing. Thanks to all who voted!

We made it. It’s been a long haul since the days of Center Lane Parking and the #LOLSixers, but Philly: You’ve helped us make it to the final round of Billy Penn‘s first bracket created to crown the Ultimate Philly Thing. Cheesesteaks, the Phillies and the Mummers are out. It’s Ben Franklin vs. Reading Terminal Market, and this one is for all the marbles.

Billy Penn‘s pseudoscientific, made-up, but otherwise utterly reliable bracket-tournament-style contest aims to crown the Most Philly Thing Ever. We picked the most Philly things we could think of in four categories: the most Philly person, the most Philly food and drink, the most Philly thing from the outside and the most Philly pastime.

We picked two competitors in each sub-category, and then seeded them. We’re now down to just two. (Disagree with our seeding and selections? Send your angry tweets to @billy_penn; we may or may not argue back.)

Vote early, and vote often. This is the championship, people.

Your competitors:


In one corner, you’ve got Ben Franklin. He’s like, Philadelphia’s dude (even though he wasn’t even born here) and was one of the most well-known Pennsylvanians of the eighteenth century. He’s a founding father, a writer and is pretty famous for that thing with the kite.

Here’s an important and comprehensive Ben Franklin history video for your consideration:

YouTube video

In the other corner, you have Reading Terminal Market — a sleeper, if we might add. This is Philadelphia’s lunch place, the one that’s known for fresh produce, DiNic’s amazing roast pork sandwiches, 4th Street cookies and a bunch of other mouthwatering food choices. Not sure if chocolate-covered onion falls into that category or not. Don’t worry, according to this video it tastes like, “white chocolate and onion.” Phew.

YouTube video


A recap of how we got here:

Most Philly person:

Best Founding Father: Ben Franklin and William (Billy) Penn

Chef’s Empire: Jose Garces and Stephen Starr

Most Hollywood: Will Smith and M. Night Shyamalan

Most Political: Chris Matthews and Ed Rendell

Most Philly food or drink:

Most Philly Snack: TaskyKake and Soft Pretzel

Most Philly Sugary Sweet: Peanut Chews and Water Ice

Most Philly Beer: Yards Brawler and Kenzinger

Sammich-off: Cheesesteak and Roast Pork

Most Philly thing from the outside:

-Adelphia pun: Filthadelphia and Killadelphia

Most Philly cliche (that’s really true): Rocky’s town and Awful sports fans

Most musical representation: “Summertime” and Motown Philly

Most Philly establishment: Wawa and Reading Terminal Market

Most Philly pastime or activity:

Best Baseball Team: Taney Dragons and Philadelphia Phillies

Best Basketball Team: Temple U. and Philadelphia 76ers

Best Drunken Party: Mummer’s Parade and Fat Tuesday on South Street

Best Parking Practice: Center lane parking and Saving parking spots

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.