The campus of the University of Illinois was buzzing with excitment Monday during a live remote for "The Ellen Show."
Host Ellen DeGeneres sent a series of cryptic tweets over the weekend encouraging students at the school to gather at the Quad at 3 p.m. for a "big surprise."
Each successive tweet added a few more clues, until she revealed that "someone dressed as their favorite movie character at the University of Illinois is about to win a big prize."
A campus web cam showed a large group at the Quad gathering in anticipation of the big surprise.
Hundreds of students packed the quad, dress in costumes ranging from minions, a giant Slurpee and characters from "American Hustle."
According to The Daily Illini, DeGeneres appeared via satellite and eight finalists were chosen in the costume contest where they were asked to recite lines from their favorite movies.
The winner was dressed as The Joker and won two tickets to the show in LA. The runner ups received $500 gift certificates, the newspaper reported.
The "Ellen DeGeneres Show" airs live weekdays at 3 p.m. on NBC 5.
Someone dressed as their favorite movie character at the University of Illinois is about to win a big prize. Get to the quad! #Ellenois
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 24, 2014
— Manuel Colón (@macolon2) February 24, 2014
— Illinois Campus Rec (@IlliniCampusRec) February 24, 2014
— Mary Walker (@missmarywalker) February 24, 2014