Over the summer, Mineola High School senior Jack Gorman learned that homecoming would take place on Sept. 24. The date would be one to remember for anyone taking part in the festivities, but it was especially important to Gorman, who would be celebrating his 17th birthday on that day.

When he realized that the two would occur on the same day, he couldn’t help but think about how being named homecoming king would make a great gift.

“I was just like, ‘Alright, I really want to win king,’” he said when he found out. “’That would be the perfect birthday and one of the best of my life.’”

Gorman said he didn’t actively campaign for votes and had little expectations going in, but when he explained the situation to his friends, several said they would vote for him. It worked, and Gorman won.

“I was very excited, I dropped to the floor,” he said upon winning. “It was kind of meant to be, I guess. It worked out really well.”

Gorman and homecoming queen Erin Talty, 17, rode together with the rest of the homecoming court in the school parade in a carriage float pulled by two Mustangs – the school’s mascot – and signed by the entire senior class.

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Gorman and Talty met in drama club in eighth grade. Talty said she was a bit shy around Gorman at first, but the two became good friends.

“I was very intimidated of him, I thought he was so popular,” she said. “And then I learned he’s a very approachable, nice person.”

Gorman said he would celebrate his birthday at a party that night, but Saturday afternoon was about celebrating with his school.

“Today was definitely dedicated to homecoming because it’s our last one. We’re never going to have anything like this again,” he said.