Kentucky Wins Fourth Consecutive Big Blue Slam Jan. 26, 2024

KBC Donors Post Best Overall and Highest Single-Day Turnout Since 2019 in Finale

Cat scratches gator.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Powered by a strong second half of the week, Kentucky was victorious again in the annual Big Blue Slam thanks to numbers not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trailing Florida heading into Thursday, Kentucky fans answered the challenge with back-to-back 300-plus donation days to win the annual blood battle for the fourth straight year. Kentucky Blood Center donors outdid LifeSouth Community Blood Center donors with a final donation score of 1,416-1,358. On Friday, clinging to just a 13-donation advantage, Big Blue Nation clinched the victory with 333 donations.

The 1,416 total donations are the most by either side since 2019 – before the pandemic impacted operations and donor turnout – and Friday’s finale marked the single-best turnout since 2019 as well.

“Big Blue Nation refuses to lose,” said Mandy Brajuha, VP of external relations. “Heading into Thursday, Florida had all the momentum. Our appointments weren’t looking great for the last two days of the competition. We asked KBC donors to answer the call, and boy did they ever. To beat a dedicated donor base like LifeSouth’s four straight years speaks to the commitment Kentuckians have for helping their fellow neighbor. A lot of lives were saved this week – both in Kentucky and Florida – especially at a time of great need. Thank you to everyone who played a part this week.”

Kentucky is now 10-6 in the all-time series vs. Florida.  

Powered by a strong second half of the week, Kentucky was victorious again in the annual Big Blue Slam with a score of 1,416-1,358.

One-upping the rival Gators is one of the goals of the annual blood battle, but at the heart of the competition is boosting the blood supply at a critical time of the year. Winter weather and illnesses often hinder collections, and this year’s Big Blue Slam turnout couldn’t have come at a more important time.

KBC lost more than 800 donations over the last two weeks because of 20-plus winter-related cancellations, significantly reducing Kentucky Blood Center’s blood supply for more than 70 hospitals.

Although more work in the form of generous donations will need to continue into next week to fully dig out of the recent hole, KBC is in better shape to provide lifesaving blood to local patients. Blood transfusions are used for everything from cancer treatments to premature births, surgeries, anemia, diseases, car accidents and more.

Donors who were unable to give for Big Blue Slam can schedule at any one of KBC’s eight donor centers or daily mobile drives by visiting or by calling 800.775.2522.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.