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SONIC Commemorates Prom By Crowning America’s QuaranKing, QuaranQueen

By Raj Prashad

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic effectively canceling prom for hundreds of students across America, SONIC hosted a unique search to crown the first-ever QuaranKing and QuaranQueen. After asking entrants to don their prom attire and share an Instagram post explaining why they deserve to win the prize of a brand-new car, Ryan Taneja from Benton, Arkansas, and Malyssa Mecham from American Fork, Utah, were crowned QuraranKing and QuaranQueen.

QuaranKing Ryan Taneja

SONIC QuaranKing


Taneja won the nationwide contest after he pulled into a drive-in stall and threw his own socially-distant prom from the trunk of his car with his best friend in the next stall.

“Being QuaranKing, on the surface, means a crown, sash and a brand new car. I can’t pretend that those aren’t gratifying and awesome. Yet, the sense of togetherness that burgeoned from this contest will outlast the physical proof of my winning this contest,” he said. “When I announced my hopes to win the competition, my small support system exploded into an endlessly encouraging team that stretched far beyond the borders of Arkansas.

“The necessity of Arkansas’ quarantine was not lost on me, but I now understand that community is not limited by the absence of physical closeness, but is heightened by emphatic support, socially-distanced or otherwise. I am endlessly grateful for the support I’ve received as a result of the QuaranKing contest, and I hope that my fellow seniors, most importantly my best friend, QuaranQueen finalist Savannah Crotts, can see what I accomplished and know that “taking the plunge” and being someone who makes the best of hard times is more rewarding than anyone could’ve predicted.”

QuranQueen Malyssa Mecham 


After months of sewing masks for her community, Mecham used her creativity to design her own prom dress made up of SONIC wrappers. She showed off the final product of her wardrobe at her local drive-in, even sporting a pair of roller skates to complete the look.

“I’m so grateful and excited to be your QuaranQueen,” Mecham said. “It was really fun to create this dress and spend time with my family. Thanks, SONIC, for giving me this opportunity – it’s been a blast.”

Since 1953, SONIC has served guests a delicious menu through its unique drive-in format, transforming the car into a personal, private dining room. Congratulations to America’s Prom QuaranQueen Malyssa Mecham and QuaranKing Ryan Taneja on earning the ultimate badge of freedom: a brand-new car.

On Social

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So today I decided to be very extra. After a quarantine full of disappointment in outcomes of my graduation being pushed and my prom being canceled, I decided to take my best friend and celebrate with a mini-prom. If it weren't for Sonic’s encouragement, I would have never captured these memories. After agreeing to stay within medically-suggested social distancing rules, our parents allowed us to break our quarantine to make a day we would never forget. Sonic has always been a staple in all of my friendships -especially mine and my QuaranQueen’s! Sonic is our community’s local hang out and has been the location of more memories than I could ever count on my hands. Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to be the best I could. I surrounded myself with beautiful people who have supported my journey into becoming the person I am today. The Ryan, “the Quaranking”, Taneja walking into that High School is completely different from the person I am now and I owe it all to my amazing community for believing in me and helping me along the way. A wise king is someone who listens to his people, and tries to be the best he can. He is someone who works his absolute hardest to provide not only for himself but his community and I believe that if you look at my Instagram, that is evident in my character. In my posts, stories, and highlights, one can see that I have helped with service projects, provided food for the homeless on my own merit, and heavily built many friendships and participated in my community. If you want a king for the people and who loves and stands for the people, I hope I can count on your support! ;) #QuaranKingContest @SonicDriveIn

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