COVINGTON -- Local country music singer Hannah Thomas has another award under her belt.
Over the weekend, Covington resident Thomas won the country category in the Georgia Lottery's All Access Music Search.
"I was very surprised," Thomas, 20, said Tuesday. "Everybody in the whole competition was very talented. I wouldn't have wanted to be one of the judges."
Contestants had been narrowed down from 3,000 to 80 -- the top 12 competed, and she was in the top three of country artists.
Although she has won several contests over the past few years, she said this is one of the biggest ones. She has won an Atlanta Opry Talent Showcase, an Atlanta Region Colgate Country Showdown, the 2009 Songwriter of the Year by Atlanta Country Music and the Georgia Country Female Artist of the Year for 2010, among others.
Friday's Georgia Lottery event was hosted by "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Kevin Frazier, choreographed by actress/singer/dancer Jasmine Guy and judged by Georgia musicians Dallas Austin, Monica, Shawn Mullins and Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band.
"They are some of my heroes," she said, admitting that she wasn't nervous performing but was nervous before judging. "I was good after I heard their comments."
Thomas performed her original song "The Rest is Yet to Come" as part of the contest because it was an upbeat song.
As part of winning the contest, she and the other winners will go to Hollywood to record a track at Capitol Records. The top 12 also performed "Georgia on my Mind" at an Atlanta Falcons football game at the Georgia Dome; in 2008, Thomas performed the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field.
The other winners of the Georgia Lottery contest include Xavier Lewis "The Antidote to R&B" of Loganville in the pop/R&B category, KidSyc@Brandywine of Savannah in the hip-hop/rap category and theKey of Macon in the rock category.
Thomas plans to tour in February. She will kick off the tour with a special "birthday showdown show" on Feb. 3 at Smith's Olde Bar. Afterward, she will head to cities like New York City, Philadelphia and Boston to play for the first time.