The Bryce Jordan Center crowd erupted in ecstatic cheers and applause as the THON overall committee revealed this year's grand total of $7,838,054.36, surpassing last year's total of $7,490,133.87.
The moment came after dancers sat for the first time in 46 hours and supporters packed the stands, anxiously anticipating the long-awaited reveal.
Before the total was announced, Roxana Gbetibouo (senior-public relations) predicted it would be higher than last year's, to the tune of $9.3 million.
Gbetibouo, the national secretary and THON chair for the NAACP, said the big reveal is always emotional for her and that the total demonstrates how hard students work to raise money for THON throughout the year.
"Every year since I've been here, I bawl," she said. "This is one of the most emotional days for everyone involved and when the total is revealed, it's proof that the hard work has paid off for that year, and it's motivation to do it bigger and better the next year, until we find a cure."
In the crowd supporting Omega Phi Alpha service sorority before the reveal, Stephanie Buthe (sophomore-elementary education) said seeing the total emphasizes the meaningfulness of efforts to support THON.
"It makes everything we do here special," Buthe said.
Gino Tambourine (junior-forensic science) was attending THON with the Forensic Science Club and said he hoped the total would exceed last year's once again, adding that the down economy didn't seem to have an effect on last year's total.
Tambourine said the truly important thing is working for a cure.
"We're going to make more than just 75 percent of pediatric cancer curable," Tambourine said. "We're going for 100 percent. We're not going to stop until that happens."