ONE word can describe Melanie Burzacott’s reaction when she found out she had won The Courier’s Ballarat Cup best dressed competition for 2013 – shock.
Not that you would guess it when you look at the final vote count.
Ms Burzacott, 23, polled a whopping total of 4228 votes in the online poll, finishing just shy of 1000 votes ahead of her nearest competitor.
The barnstorming victory was one of the biggest seen in the history of the competition, which Ms Burzacott said could partially be put down to family and friends voting.
But still, she must have been doing something right to attract thousands of other votes.
“I don’t even know what to say, I really can’t believe it,” Ms Burzacott said when she found out she had won the competition.
“I’ve entered it nearly every year, but this year I thought I had amazing shoes so I had to show them off.”
Having lived in Ballarat all her life, Ms Burzacott recently moved to Melbourne as a tax analyst.
But attending the Ballarat Cup was always a priority.
“I’ve been to four out of the last five years and it’s great fun every year,” she said.
“My friends and I enter (the best dressed competition) every year. I think I’ve made the top 15 once before but never thought I would ever win.”
In total, Ms Burzacott spent less than $350 on her outfit, which included a fascinator from eBay that she altered at home.
She now receives a $1000 voucher to Stockland Wendouree.
“It’s not a bad return after spending $350,” she said.
Fairfax Media digital editor Jordan Oliver said the Best Dressed competition had proved incredibly popular with our readers.
“The Courier received more than 13,000 votes in the competition,” Mr Oliver said.
“Even though the weather might have kept some people away from the track, it seems those back at home were very keen to jump online and check out what they missed.”