10 burning questions Americans asked Google in 2018

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bitcoin machineDavid Ryder/Getty Images

  • Google released its annual "Year in Search" lists on Wednesday.
  • One of the lists measured 2018's most trending topics that started with the words "How to," reflecting things Americans needed help with this year.
  • Two of the most popular topics of the year involved how to vote in the midterm elections and how to buy Bitcoin.

As 2018 draws to a close, Google is looking back on all the biggest questions Americans had throughout the year.

As part of its annual "Year in Search" series, the company released its list of the year's most trending search topics beginning with the words "How to," reminding us of all the things we needed help with in 2018.

Topics that made the cut were the ones that saw a spike in search traffic compared to the year before, Google said.

Questions about November's midterm elections took the top two spots on the list, reflecting the surge in voter turnout that changed the national balance of power. Other trending questions included ones about massive lottery jackpots and another about buying cryptocurrency.

Read on for the full list of the year's most trending "how-to" topics:

10. 'How to get boogie down emote'

Fortnite Season 5_skinsEpic Games

If you don't know what any of the above words mean, don't be alarmed. It comes from "Fortnite: Battle Royale," the wildly popular free video game that in just over a year has generated more than $1 billion in revenue. In "Fortnite," players can unlock "emotes," or special victory dances for their characters - you've probably seen kids "flossing" at some point. The coveted "boogie down" emote was especially popular, it seems.

Read more: Fortnite - a free video game - is a billion-dollar money machine

9. 'How to screen record'

Apple doesn't include instructions on how to capture screen recordings on its products, so Internet users turned to Google for the answers. Here's our guide on how to screen record.

Read more: How to screenshot and screen record on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac

8. 'How to buy Bitcoin'

bitcoinA small toy figure is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency in this illustration picture, December 26, 2017.Reuters/Dado Ruvic

In January, the question on millions of Americans' minds was how to buy Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that skyrocketed to $19,843 apiece in December 2017. Unfortunately for Bitcoin investors, the momentum didn't hold, and the currency plummeted steadily throughout 2018. A year after it peaked, Bitcoin is worth a little over $3,000, and some experts fear it will never peak again.

Read more: Bitcoin unlikely to ever hit another record high, Barclays says

7. 'How to play Powerball'

In late October, four days after someone won the $1.57 billion Mega Millions jackpot, two lucky Americans won a Powerball jackpot worth $750 million. The massive prize was the fourth-largest in US history.

Read more: 2 winning tickets were sold for the $750 million Powerball jackpot. Here are the winning numbers

6. 'How to get the old Snapchat back'

snapchat smashed screenReuters

In February, Snapchat released a controversial redesign that separated users' celebrity Snapchat stories from their friends' stories. The update triggered backlash from plenty of users, including celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. Snapchat eventually tweaked its design in May to satisfy users' biggest complaints.

Read more: Snapchat is changing its controversial redesign

5. 'How to turn off automatic updates'

Not many people like those pop-up notifications telling you it's time to update new software on your computer or phone. So it's no surprise people would flock to Google seeking how to turn those annoying updates off.

Read more: How to stop Apple from automatically downloading new software for your Mac

4. 'How to buy Ripple'

When cryptocurrency mania hit its peak at the beginning of 2018, XRP, or Ripple, was one of the biggest beneficiaries. The digital coin was worth more than $120 billion at its January apex, with only Bitcoin proving more popular. Although the diehards are still holding on, the cryptocurrency is worth just 10% of its peak value today.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Ripple and the company that created it

3. 'How to play Mega Millions'

mega millions lottery(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

With more than $1.5 billion at stake, it's no surprise Americans were Googling how to play the Mega Millions lottery. In October, the Mega Millions jackpot reached a near-record $1.54 billion, with one lucky player from South Carolina claiming the entire prize.

Read more: A single ticket holder in South Carolina won the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot, close to the all-time record

2. 'How to register to vote'

The 2018 midterm elections prompted millions of people to search for instructions on how to register to vote. More than 800,000 people registered to vote on September's National Voter Registration Day alone, setting the stage for a heavily contested election season.

Read more: 'Thank God for Taylor Swift': Voter registration in Tennessee booms after pop star's Democratic endorsements

1. 'How to vote'

voting boothVoting booths are set up in Waterloo, Iowa.Scott Olson/Getty Images

The most trending "how-to" search of the year was "how to vote," according to Google. That comes as no surprise, as the 2018 US midterm elections dominated political headlines for much of the year. The elections saw the highest level of voter turnout in more than 100 years.

Read more: See the full House and Senate results of the 2018 midterm elections

Get the latest Google stock price here.

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