After two days of reporting on the “CWS Jello Shot Challenge” at Rocco’s Pizza in Omaha, where Hog fans threw back an astonishing amount of Jell-O shots over the weekend, I developed a sympathy hangover imagining our fans’ collective suffering. Or maybe I was actually hung over, who knows. I also worried about the employees at Rocco’s Pizza, who were likely serving some of the rowdiest fans in the country. And if they’re like every other restaurant these days, they’re probably understaffed. I also worried about how quickly the tally was being updated and that my math might look wrong when viewed out of context. I considered reaching out to new Arkansas Times reporter Mary Hennigan, who has background in data analysis and could help create some Jell-O shot graphs that could later serve as drunken tattoos in Omaha.
Many people have been calculating how much fans have spent on Jell-O shots at Rocco’s over the past week, questioning how this could even be happening in this economy. With high gas prices, inflation and celebrity-endorsed crypto shares turning to dust, not everyone is flush.
None of that matters when the Hogs are winning, baby. Arkansas fans have spent my entire year’s salary on Jell-O shots at Rocco’s pizza in about a week. Shots are $4.50 each. Here’s the current leader board from CWS Jello Shot Challenge’s last Twitter update:
If anyone can accurately prognosticate the Arkansas and Ole Miss totals after tonight we’ll give you a $100 gift card and you get a picture with the board. Good luck! #CWS2022 #CWSS #RoccosOmaha pic.twitter.com/Lvhrt9xAZP
— CWS Jello Shot Challenge (@CWSShotBoard) June 22, 2022
Yes, it would appear that Rocco’s is cleaning up. It’s also a small business that struggled to survive the pandemic. A note from the owners today explains how grateful they are and that they will donate $2 from each shot purchased to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry at the University of Arkansas and the Grove Food Pantry at Ole Miss.
— CWS Jello Shot Challenge (@CWSShotBoard) June 21, 2022
The Hogs play Ole Miss again tonight at 6 p.m. We have to beat them twice to make the CWS final.