Mississippi House race has been won by Democrat Blaine “Bo” Eaton II after drawing a longer straw, an official way to break a tie in a legislative election for the state.
Bo Eaton met rival Mark Tullos to draw straws and the Republican drew the shorter one.
The Democrat’s fateful grasp of the longer straw gave him the victory, keeping Republicans from having a supermajority in the state house.
Mark Tullos, not admitting defeat, filed an appeal on November 20.
Bo Eaton, a farmer, said after winning: “There’s always happiness in a good crop year.”
Bo Eaton, a 20-year incumbent, had said he did not approve of the straw-drawing, but he would accept the results.
“Look, my life’s a gamble,” he said, according to the New York Times.
“I’m a farmer. I depend on the weather and the rain. The statute’s clear, but my life is not.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant presided over the short straw-drawing ceremony.
Each candidate had received 4,589 votes in the legislative election for the House seat.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 states legally decide the outcome of tied legislative elections by drawing straws or flipping coins.
Similar cases have happened in New Mexico and Alaska, using a coin toss.
Connecticut decided in 2007 to eliminate chance games for breaking ties, a year after a coin toss determined a state house election.