Link to news release at Merriam Webster website. (via The Resource Shelf)
The word and the 9 runners-up:
I worked as an Associate Editor/Editorial Librarian for Merriam-Webster in Springfield, Massachusetts, from March 1976 to August 1978. One of my duties was reading proofs of new editions of M-W's family of dictionaries. In other words, I got paid for reading the dictionary. You can't imagine how happy I was when I was offered the Head of Extension Services position at the Oshkosh Public Library in August 1978. Some of my M-W colleagues from that era are still there: Frederick Mish, Jim Lowe, Kathleen Doherty, Dan Hopkins.