US Stamps

The award for most creative way to send in a stamp poll ballot

Mar 26, 2024, 8 AM
Stamp collector Trevor Bills of Texas sent his ballot for the Linn’s 2023 U.S. stamp popularity poll inside this pinata. The stamps were affixed to the side of the pinata, and it was placed inside a bag for transit from Texas to Ohio.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

Every time a stamp collector receives mail, it is a special treat. But then, there are those extra special moments that make you smile.

On Jan. 18, stamp collector and class of 2022 American Philatelic Society Young Philatelic Leadership Fellow Trevor Bills of Texas went to his local post office with of all things: a pinata, some stamps and a mailing label.

Inside the pinata, cleverly marked for retrieval, was his poll ballot for the Linn’s 2023 U.S. stamp popularity poll. I won’t reveal what he voted for as most popular, but I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t subtle about his pick.

When I emailed Bills to thank him for his creativity, he said, “If you remove the white circle sticker at the rear of the pinata, the ballot envelope is right inside so that it can be pulled out without having to break the pinata with a broomstick.”

The pinata was not harmed in the transit process from Texas to Ohio, thanks to the USPS team who allowed him to place it inside a plastic bag after the stamps and tracking label were attached.

And I was very careful getting the ballot out.

In the photo shown nearby, the pinata sits on my desk here in Sidney. I now have it in line of sight at my office because it’s quite a conversation piece when people see it.

But not all goes according to plan. Bills had hoped to outdo himself by sending me a small basketball from the John Wooden first-day ceremony. However, he ultimately mailed it in a box with a note saying that “unfortunately, the stamps don’t stick to the textured surface very well.” A phrase I never expected to hear, but the souvenir was still appreciated.

Linn’s 2023 U.S. stamp popularity poll results were reported in the April 8 issue.

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