Stack Overflow frequently gives out swag for contests, such as the Stack Overflow's 10 Million Questions contest. More recently, more contests were organised including Who cut the cheese? and Time for some more swag!, both part of Stack Overflow's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Since this year's Winter Bash fits in nicely with Stack Overflow's 10th anniversary and more swag will probably be given out during January 2019, will there be some kind of award for the top users of this year's Winter Bash?

Since Winter Bash is a Stack Exchange-wide event, all the sites could join in the party & festival too!

And, our network sites do a great job of putting up with Stack Overflow getting all the shiny new stuff initially, so they are getting their fair share of treats at this party.

  • 2
    In the past, there has been a meta post where the people with the most hats have been given a shout out. But that's it. I'm not posting this as an answer, as we don't know for this year.
    – CalvT
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 10:19
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    I'm not sure why this question has been downvoted as it's a sensible question.
    – Ambo100
    Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 0:48
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    @Ambo100 As sensible as a fun Winter Bash question can be. :-)
    – Super Jade
    Commented Dec 16, 2018 at 8:02
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    The real reward is the fun and friends you made along the way... :P
    – Jaydles
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 14:58
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    I can believe how many upvotes and downvotes this has received, and especially how balanced they are! If there was a hat for getting +20 and -20 you would be one of the extremely few who would win it.
    – hat
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 12:18
  • @hat I wish we had such hat :)
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:44
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    IMO a poor editorial choice. The term "award" makes greater sense. When a winner is given an award, that person must have done something exceptional to earn it. On the other hand, a reward for participating in one or more contests means everyone must be given a "prize". The "exceptional" requirement is no longer desired. Realistically speaking, there are too many participants, and not enough money/prizes. And not everyone deserves a "reward".... -1 Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 21:08

10 Answers 10


There will probably be a wrap-up like last year, where the winner is mentioned. No additional prizes in the form of reputation, badges, or physical items were awarded. Individual sites are free to 'enhance' the event with prizes, see Ambo100's answer, though this is not common.

A statement to the temporary nature of the event is that the leaderboards from last year aren't accessible anymore, except via the Wayback Machine. It really is a temporary event; after January 1st, the hats go back into their boxes.

  • 1
    Are hats locked again after every new year? Then what's the point of earning it, when you know that in a month, all your pains will be wasted?
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 10:26
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    But the pride remains....
    – user351483
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 10:29
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    @VerNick to have fun, of course. Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 11:10
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    @VerNick: Take screenshots while you may! Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 17:41
  • @JonEricson Of what?
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 17:42
  • @VerNick Of your favorite hats/head coverings. :-) Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 17:43
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    @JonEricson I can wear all hats if I want :)
    – Ver Nick
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 17:44

As far as I'm aware, Bricks Stack Exchange is the only site to be offering rewards this year for participating in Winter Bash 2018.

There is a LEGO prize for the user with the most hats, three prizes awarded randomly to anyone who can earn three or more hats and a building competition.

enter image description here

This competition was created by the community and the prizes have very kindly been donated by The LEGO Group to help us boost activity on the site. This isn't an official Stack Exchange competition but it is based on the Winter Bash event.

It total, the prizes make up almost $500 worth of LEGO!

New users to the site have an advantage this year as they can easily earn the 'Member of The Hand' and 'Still Fresh' hats.

Bricks Stack Exchange: Winter Bash Competitions


The award for me and many others is the chase. It brings this community together like no other event.

Often times we see divides over how things should be done here on SE. But this event bypasses those differences and gives us all a common thing to appreciate!

I would also like to say that your question is not as bad as it seems from the downvotes. It's completely natural as humans to want to compete and win something that proves we won the competition. But thats also another great thing about being human, you get to overcome that!

So just pony up and have some fun! Maybe youll find a chicken around the next corner...


The award consists of:

  1. Plenty of fun
  2. Fond memories
  3. Images of your profile picture wearing funny hats (if you save screenshots)
  4. A sense of accomplishment
  5. Satisfying your competitive tendencies

P.S. most of the above are awarded to all who participate, not just the winner[s].

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention it before, but I actually won my first Stack Overflow swag due to my participation in Winterbash 2014.

I didn't win that Winterbash (though it was the first Winterbash in which I tried to win all hats). When Winterbash ended, the traditional summary blog post was published by Jon Ericson. He included some screen shots he liked of profile pictures with hats. One of them was my profile picture, featuring my 5 months old baby wearing a pirate hat with an eye patch. The only problem was that Jon linked that image to some unrelated user. When I commented about it, he apologized and linked to my profile.

He then insisted on sending me a shirt as am apology. I first said it wasn't necessary, but then wondered if they had baby sized shirts. A few weeks later I got a delivery with my first Stack Overflow T-shirt + a baby onesie with the writing "future stackoverflow user". Naturally, the first thing I did was take a photo of my baby wearing that onesie. That has been my profile picture ever since.

I still have that onesie, by far the cutest swag I ever got from SO:

enter image description here Therefore, winning physical items as a result of Winterbash has been known to happen.


Sir prizes are not impossible, I'm getting 100 Rep awarded for my knitting - that's a surprise for me. The reward is: community participation, bragging rights, and a virtual hat.


Unfortunately, there’s no award. Participation in Winter Bash is mainly for fun and it's a cool tradition!

  1. By contributing to the site while hunting for hats, you can help other users with their questions.

  2. Winter Bash provides the opportunity to assist in cleaning up the site, since some hats require reviews, deletion of old comments, answering abandoned questions, etc.

  3. Hats are fun and stylish!


  4. And knitting brings extra fun to WB this year, I've knitted a cat:


However, I do hope the Stack Overflow team would consider giving away some prizes to the top few users as recognition for their efforts. That could even be part of Stack Overflow's 10th anniversary giveaway.


You get three rewards:

  • The right to brag that you won winter bash
  • The memory of owning a bunch of hats
  • Happiness

Stack Exchange leader boards are just for fun, just like the Winter Bash hats themselves. Much like the regular leader boards for reputation, there is no prize for coming in first, other than the reputation (or in this case, hats) you earned in the process.

That being said, there may still be giveaways or competitions at some point during Winter Bash, as Stack Exchange has done in the past.

Those who get the most hats, or those few who get exceptionally difficult hats, typically also get a mention in the yearly wrap-up post (here's last year's).

Some Stack Exchange sites may also choose to offer prizes, as Bricks Stack Exchange has done this year and last year, but these are not offered by Stack Exchange, but rather the users/moderators on those sites.

  • 1
    One big difference between reputation leagues and WB leaderboard is that the leagues are permanent and showing data about past years, while winter bash leaderboards are not archived anywhere. That's a big downside. Commented Dec 15, 2018 at 9:24

SE will likely not hand out swag for it (aside bricks.SE), but pretty much everyone still gets something for their efforts.

For an instance, you do get a (slightly) new profile picture out of it. You could screenshot it and save it for out-of-season use. There's nothing quite like a Winter Bash profile picture in the middle of July

Of course you get bragging rights, and something to compete with until the winter bash ends. And if you get brunhilde, you might also get more familiar with a couple non-SO sites. Although that depends on where you're currently active.

The winner will still get more bragging rights than everyone else.

If you participate on the sites, you might still get on-site rewards in terms of bounties and upvotes (The retro hat seems to cause a bunch of votes on old posts that haven't been active in forever).

And either way, you still get something to do for a couple of weeks.


The prize is the irony of winning bling for my generic profile picture:

Freehand Circle Identification Division Retro Fan Still Fresh Team Player Top Hat

I figure it's temporary, so it's okay. :-)

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