MORGANTOWN - A Parkersburg native and his friend won a national contest with a video they made making fun of law school.
"I can't believe we won," said Tyler Murray, a 2007 Parkersburg South High School graduate. "We weren't expecting to win because we were up against Ivy League schools who always win these things, but our video received the most votes."
The annual contest is for law school students and the winners typically come from Harvard or Yale, he said.
In March, Murray and his Morgantown native friend Andy Loud, a second-year law student at the West Virginia University College of Law, made and posted to YouTube "Law School Parody" to the tune of Maroon 5's "Payphone." Murray is the lead singer and Loud raps.
Within weeks of the video being online, it had garnered national attention with more than 100,000 views, which Murray contributed to how well viewers could sympathize with the story being told.
"I think that's why it won, too," he said. "The story is super-relatable to all college students.
"Even though there are a lot of law school references, it is one of those videos that you can watch and understand exactly how they feel," Murray said.
Murray also chalks up the win to a friend's last-minute voting extravaganza.
"A friend of mine pulled together a last 45-minute Facebook event and it just blew everything up that got us a couple thousand votes ahead," he said.
"Law School Parody" received 7,409 of the 22,814 total votes, according to the Law Revue's website (abovethelaw.com).
"We were told it was a record-breaking year for number of votes and we received more than 7,000," Murray said. "It is really a surprise."
The second place video was by New York University Law School, third place was University of Virginia School of Law, fourth was Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, fifth was University of California in Los Angeles School of Law and sixth was Columbia Law School.
"It is just amazing that we beat such big-name schools and are helping to put West Virginia on the map," Murray said. "This is a first for West Virginia Law School, especially."
Since making the law school video, their third, Murray and Loud, who use the name Chocolate Ghost House taken from a level in the video game Super Mario World, a fourth has been made and posted on the file sharing site.
"We released 'Horrors,' which is a parody of 'Mirrors' by Justin Timberlake with references to B-movies and The Walking Dead with a lot of zombie references," Murray said. "We are also working on another video with a bunch of different game references for game nerds."
One thing Murray was quick to point out is the personas he and Loud show in the video - Murray as the "goofy kid" and Loud as a "suave guy in the suit" - is how they are.
"The images we put out there of ourselves is really how we are," he said. "It's great that people are getting to know us and enjoying what we do."
Murray said "Law School Parody" has already had more than 215,000 views and with its popularity he and Loud are being contacted to advertise with businesses.
"We now have people contacting us to advertise with them, so opportunities are starting to come in," he said.
Chocolate Ghost House has also done music for a video game.
"We're now just living the creative dream; we have no money, but living the dream," Murray added with a laugh.