The Best of 2008: Counting Down ABC News' Most Popular Stories

The year 2008 was one for the history books.

It was a year of incredible highs, numbing lows, new household names and countless surprises along the way.

The following represent some of the most popular stories on from the past year.

The list includes exclusive interviews and investigations, new trends in health and lifestyles, breaking economic news and feature stories focusing on everything from Hollywood stars to chefs' secrets.

John Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Candidate

John Edwards admitted to ABC News in an interview with Bob Woodruff that he repeatedly lied about an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, a 42-year-old campaign employee. The news broke on, resulting in the most-read story of 2008.

VIDEO: John Edwards, Sarah Palin, Rev. Wright among the top read stories.

Edwards strenuously denied being involved in paying the woman hush money or fathering her newborn child. The former Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate from North Carolina said he would be willing to take a paternity test and divulge the results publicly.

"Two years ago I made a very serious mistake, a mistake that I am responsible for and no one else," Edwards said. "In 2006, I told Elizabeth about the mistake, asked her for her forgiveness, asked God for his forgiveness. And we have kept this within our family since that time."

Read the story: Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate.

Watch the full interview: Edwards Admits to Affair With Rielle Hunter.

Read the full transcript: Excerpts of Edwards Interview with Bob Woodruff .

Another political scandal involving an affair also ranked among the most-read stories. U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., whose predecessor resigned in the wake of his own sex scandal, agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him, according to current and former members of his staff who had been briefed on the settlement, which involved Mahoney and his campaign committee.

Read the story: Congressman's $121,000 Payoff to Alleged Mistress.

Sarah Palin Says She's Ready to Be Vice President

Gov. Sarah Palin sat down with ABC News' Charlie Gibson for her first interview after being selected as Sen. John McCain's running mate.

In three interviews in her home state of Alaska, Palin discussed national security as well as energy policy and climate change.

Palin, 44, said she knew immediately that she was prepared to run as vice president when McCain offered her the job. It is a core of shared values and drive that made them a good team, she said.

"I answered [McCain] 'yes,' because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink."

"I thought yes right off the bat. ... When he offered me the position as his running mate, the first thing I said to him was, 'Do you really think that I could help the ticket? Do you really think that I could help this country? Absolutely, I want to do this with you.'"

Read the story: Palin Takes Hard Line on National Security, Softens Stance on Global Warming.

Watch the full interview: Gov. Sarah Palin's Exclusive Interview with Charles Gibson.

Read the full transcript: Full Excerpts: Charlie Gibson Interviews GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin.

Palin was the subject of a number of the most popular stories of the past year.

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