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Trending Today: Oscars, Alan Rickman, and the Powerball


Actor John Krasinski (L) and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the nominees for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role during the nominations announcements for the 88th Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif

Actor John Krasinski (L) and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announce the nominees for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role during the nominations announcements for the 88th Academy Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif


This is What’s Trending Today…

#Oscars

The nominations for the year’s Academy Awards have been announced.

“The Revenant” led the way, with 12 Oscar nominations.The film is an 1820s-era drama about a man trying to survive in the wild after a bear attack.

"The Revenant" will compete with "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Brooklyn," "The Martian," "Room" and "Spotlight" for best picture.

On social media, talk was about the lack of diversity among the nominees -- for the second straight year. All of the actors and actresses nominated where white. On Twitter, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite reappeared. The hashtag first appeared last year, when nominees were also said to lack diversity.

​Will Smith, who stars in football drama "Concussion," and Idris Elba from "Beasts of No Nation" were among the black actors who were not nominated. Both films had received positive reviews.

Reginald Hudlin, who will produce the Oscars ceremony on February 28, said ignoring black actors is “tragic.”

Alan Rickman dies

British actor Alan Rickman has died after a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.

In recent years, he was most well-known for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.

Rickman won a Golden Globe and an Emmy during his career. He was famous for playing Hollywood villains, but he also starred in films such as “Love, Actually” and “Truly Madly Deeply.”

On social media, actors and fans remembered Rickman.

Daniel Radcliffe starred alongside Rickman as Harry Potter. He wrote on his Google Plus page that Rickman was “undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with.”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted: "There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.”

#Powerball winners

The record-breaking $1.5-billion Powerball lottery has a winner. Or three. Powerball announced winners in three states: Tennessee, California, and Florida.

The identities of the winners have not been released.

But on social media, people are already claiming to be Powerball winners. Instagram user Erik Bragg posted a photo of himself holding a lottery ticket with Wednesday night’s winning numbers.

The photo received almost 95,000 likes and 74,000 comments. Most commenters said that he was not an actual winner. And, he is not.

Bragg was not the only fake winner on social media. Many other people on Instagram and Twitter posted similar photos.

The Washington Post even published an article Thursday that explains how to know if the lottery tickets posted on social media are fake.

And that’s What’s Trending Today. I'm Ashley Thompson.

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Words in This Story

era - n. a period of time

diversity - n. the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization

tragic - adj. involving very sad or serious topics

lottery - n. a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes

fake - adj. not true or real

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