The Cadbury Bunny Tryouts 2024 Winner Is An Adorable Raccoon

While Cadbury sells candy year-round, it's known for its creme-filled chocolate eggs that have become an Easter icon. One way the company celebrates its special connection to the holiday is by holding Cadbury Bunny Tryouts each year. If you're unfamiliar, Cadbury takes a democratic approach to its "bunny" selection and opens the contest to all types of animals, not just rabbits. This year's contest, which took place as a bracket-style challenge held on Instagram, consisted of 32 entrants, among them cats, dogs, horses, a donkey, and a goat. None of these were the winner, however. Instead, that honor goes to a raccoon named Louie.

Louie, who lives in Miami, is 2 years old, per information shared with Mashed. As a wee young kit (yes, that's what baby raccoons are called), he encountered trouble in the wild but was ultimately saved. At some point, it was determined that he was unfit to return to life as a feral raccoon, so his now-owner, Jaime, adopted him as a pet. As his prize, Louie will star in next year's Cadbury Bunny Tryouts commercial. He also gets to take home $7,000 to spend on gourmet garbage (or whatever it is that raccoons are into).

Louie isn't the first underdog to be a Cadbury Bunny

The Cadbury contest has taken place every year since 2019, and Louie isn't just the sixth Bunny, he's also the sixth winner to be, well, not a bunny. Of the other five victors, three have been dogs, one has been a cat, and one has been a frog. While all of the nominees every year are cute — who doesn't love some adorable pets in bunny ears? — one thing that really tugs on voters' heartstrings is a tragic (but ultimately triumphant) backstory. Poor Louie, denied the opportunity to grow up and lead a regular raccoon lifestyle, nonetheless found a second chance as a pampered house pet. Last year's winner, Crash the cat, was also a rescue.

The Cadbury Bunny of 2022, an English Goldendoodle named Annie Rose, doesn't have a sad backstory of her own, but she does help humans by visiting nursing homes as a therapy dog. The real underdog, however, may be the 2020 winner, a two-legged Treeing Walker Coonhound named Lieutenant Dan. This canine rolled into our hearts during the early stages of the pandemic lockdown and made us feel like life was worth living again.