John Essary of Eldon, center

Casey’s General Store officials recognize John Essary of Eldon, center, the winner of its pizza-naming contest.

ANKENY – Casey’s General Stores announced the permanent name for its Midwest Mystery Pizza and introduced the man who named it during Casey’s Largest Pizza Party Saturday.

Casey’s introduced the Midwest Mystery Pizza Sept. 1 – the same day that it launched a contest to permanently name the new specialty pie that features Midwest-inspired ingredients such as pulled pork, bacon, Sweet Baby Ray’s® BBQ sauce and fire-roasted corn, the company said in a press release this week.

More than 17,000 people entered name suggestions, and three of those were selected as finalists. The public voted on the final names Sept. 18. The name The Midwestern, submitted by John Essary of Eldon, won, garnering almost half of more than 14,000 votes cast.

Casey’s selected the final three names from entries from all 16 states Casey’s serves, the company said.

The public was invited to Casey’s Largest Pizza Party Saturday in Des Moines. Hundreds turned out to taste the new pizza, play games, have their photos taken and meet Essary and Casey’s employees.

Casey’s is offering the newly named Midwestern for $13.99 through the month of October.

Casey’s General Stores is a Fortune 500 company operating 2,100 convenience stores in 16 states throughout the Midwest.