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Google's biggest search terms of 2016: Powerball and Prince

Besides that, it's no surprise what else the world obsessed over this year: the US election and the Olympics.

"Powerball" was the top trending term of 2016 on Google's search engine.
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

In 2016, people had two colors on their minds: green and purple.

The two biggest queries of the year on Google's search engine were "Powerball" and "Prince," according to Google itself. The company said Wednesday those were the "top trending" topics on Google, meaning they had the highest spike in traffic over a certain period of time this year compared to last year.

The uptick in Powerball search queries is from January, when the jackpot mushroomed to more than $1 billion. Google-users caught lottery fever hoping to get a shot at the cold hard greenbacks. People searched for Prince after the legendary musician died in April and fans sought to mourn the Purple One.

Google is the world's largest search engine and one of the most iconic sites on the internet. So popular search queries give us a good look into what people were thinking over the past year.

It's also no surprise that people were obsessed with the Olympics and the US election.

The top two searches specifically on Google News were "Olympics" and "Elections." When it came to searches specifically about people -- and not including deaths -- the top two were Trump and Clinton. In fact, eight of the top 10 people searches were either presidential candidates or Olympic athletes. The exceptions were Steven Avery, subject of the Netflix true crime documentary "Making a Murderer," and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Below are the complete lists:


1. Powerball

2. Prince

3. Hurricane Matthew

4. Pokemon Go


6. Olympics

7. David Bowie

8. Trump

9. Election

10. Hillary Clinton

People (not including deaths)

1. Donald Trump

2. Hillary Clinton

3. Michael Phelps

4. Bernie Sanders

5. Steven Avery

6. Ryan Lochte

7. Simone Biles

8. Cam Newton

9. Usain Bolt

10. Kevin Durant


1. Olympics

2. Elections

3. Orlando shooting

4. Brexit

5. Zika virus

6. El Chapo

7. Brussels

8. Nice, France

9. Panama Papers

10. Aleppo