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Top Google searches in 2016 (Photos)

What topic sparked the most interest online this year? It wasn't Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or the 2016 election. Forget the drama-filled Olympics and the Pokemon Go phenomenon.

WASHINGTON — What topic sparked the most interest online this year? No, it wasn’t Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or the 2016 election. Forget the drama-filled Olympics and the Pokemon Go phenomenon.

The No. 1 most searched topic in 2016 was the billion-dollar Powerball lottery drawing, according to a rankings of users’ searches released by the search giant this year.

In January, lottery officials announced the weekly Powerball jackpot had grown to $1.6 billion — the largest ever — sparking a ton of Google searches from hopeful players. A smaller (relatively speaking) $429 million jackpot later in the year also sent lottery hopefuls to Googling.

Music legend Prince’s shocking death in April at 57 came in at No. 2 on the list, followed by Hurricane Matthew, Pokemon Go and the online multiplayer game “Slither.io” rounded out the top five searches.

Google also broke out the top 10 specific news stories of the year based on people’s searches.

No. 1 was the Rio Olympics, which generated a ton of coverage and controversy, not least because of Ryan Lochte’s outside-the-pool antics. The 2016 election came in at No. 2 followed by the shooting in June at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the “Brexit” vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union, and the Zika virus rounding out the top five.

Google’s competitor Yahoo also released a list of top 2016 searches. No. 1 on the list was the 2016 election followed by Donald Trump in second place. Hillary Clinton, placed 10th on the list.

In general, Yahoo users appeared more interested in celebrities. Top searches on the site included two Kardashians, Gwen Stefani and even, inexplicably, Jodie Sweetin, who co-starred in the “Fuller House” reboot series.

“Pop culture really dominated our list and always sort of does,” Amy Wicks with Yahoo, told WTOP.

Here are top 10 searches and news stories as ranked by Yahoo. For Google’s list of the top searches scroll through the photo gallery above.

Yahoo’s most searched terms in 2016

  • 2016 election
  • Donald Trump
  • Roblox
  • Gwen Stefani
  • 2016 Olympics
  • Khloe Kardashian
  • Megyn Kelly
  • Jodie Sweetin
  • Kim Kardashian-West
  • Hillary Clinton

WTOP’s Chris Cichon contributed to this report. 

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