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January 2, 2013

Americans Have Celebrities on the Brain in 2012, According to Ask.com Findings

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What was on the minds of Americans this year? Nothing serious based on some of Ask.com’s most trending searches.

More than 100 million people with inquiring minds used Ask.com in 2012. The most popular person Ask users wanted to know about was actress Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame. So the most-asked question of the year comes as no surprise: “Will Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart get back together?”

Other top queries were:

• Was Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s marriage fake?

• What does Gangnam Style mean?

• When is Snooki’s baby due?

• What will happen to Prince Harry because of the nude pictures?

• How big is Angelina’s engagement ring?

• What is the best Call Me Maybe parody?

• Are Justin and Jessica getting married?

• Did Miley Cyrus cut her hair?

• Does Ryan Lochte have a girlfriend?

Ask.com asked Harris Interactive to go a step further with its analysis to determine: “2012: What’s on America’s Mind?” The online survey of more than 2,000 adults in November was an attempt to discover the underlying consumer perceptions driving the above questions to the top of the list.

Harris found Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and wife of future British monarch Prince William, hands down was 2012’s overall favorite celebrity. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed ranked Kate Middleton as their favorite celebrity newsmaker, beating out Brad Pitt with 41 percent, Angelina Jolie at 39 percent, Tom Cruise at 37 percent, Katie Holmes with 36 percent and Kristen Stewart at 20 percent.

While celebrities may have been more popular than traditional news, a number of users took to Ask.com with questions about the year’s biggest headlines.

The top news searches were:

• How many medals did the U.S. gymnastics team win?

• What is the damage from Hurricane Sandy?

• What happened at the Colorado shooting?

• What is Jerry Sandusky’s sentence?

• When will the iPhone 5 be released?

• When is the Facebook IPO?

• Did Lance Armstrong take drugs?

• How did Whitney Houston die?

• How did the Costa Concordia sink?

• Why was Trayvon Martin shot?

According to the Harris survey, 38 percent of those polled support Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles, 39 percent do not.

Almost half of those survey (49 percent) said the iPhone 5 was not much different than its predecessor and 45 percent were unimpressed by Facebook’s much-anticipated IPO.

More than one-third of Americans labeled the school shootings in Aurora, Colorado as the most shocking news of 2012, followed by the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the shooting of Trayvon Martin in a gated Florida community.

With 2012 being an election year, there were a number of politically-themes questions posed to Ask.com.

They were:

• Who will win the presidential race?

• When is Clinton speaking at the DNC?

• What did Mitt Romney say about 47 percent?

• Why did Clint Eastwood talk to a chair in his speech?

• What did the CEO of Chick-Fil-A say about gay marriage?

• What did Todd Akin say about legitimate rape?

• Where is gay marriage legal?

• What is Obamacare?

• Is Greece bringing down the Euro?

• Was John Edwards found guilty?

For more on the Ask.com findings click here.

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