Thousands Back Potential State of 'MegaKota'

What's in a name? Apparently a lot
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2019 8:30 AM CST
Thousands Back Potential State of 'MegaKota'
The proposed US state MegaKota is shown in green.   (

Thousands of people hope to add "a pretty rad state name" to the map of America. MegaKota is the goal of Dillan Stewart of Fargo, ND, and more than 12,500 others who've signed his petition asking President Trump to combine North Dakota and South Dakota into a single state. Stewart's reasoning: It'd "be pretty cool to have a state called MegaKota so yeah." At 147,878 square miles, MegaKota would nab Montana's spot as the fourth largest US state by land area, according to data journalist David Montgomery, who crunched the numbers on his blog. "In return for some sacrificed political power and a whole lot more driving, Megakotans would gain a larger, more diverse economy and a larger (but no more diverse) population," he writes.

Petition signers chimed in with their thinking on the topic: "How can it be called the United States if some of our states are divided in half?" a Nebraska resident commented, per the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. "I live in North Dakota, and literally want nothing more," wrote Nickolas Gleese of Dickinson. A third person said the combined state—with a population of 1.62 million and GDP of almost $102 billion—was "the least ridiculous political ambition I've seen this year." One Twitter user wondered why Stewart didn't simply propose Dakota as the state name since "it's way much better than Megakota," but she appeared to be in the minority. Nathan Bolger noted, "I would rather be able to say I'm from MegaKota than South Dakota," per WCMH. As another person put it, MegaKota is "a pretty rad state name." (See how established states got their names.)

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