What does in mean in the following sentence?
MTV Europe Music Awards nominations are in and Lady Gaga leads
It feels like "announced", but does it refer to "in the news" or something? Where does it come from?
This sense of in means
Your example, nominations are in and Lady Gaga leads, makes it clear that the nominations have not merely been sent in, but already received by the judges, read, and tallied. However, sometimes a phrase like this refers more to the time of submission, implying that the item will also be received at that time, but might not be handled until later. For example:
This use of in often relates to judging—note the words like nominations and votes—but you might use it when referring to anything that is sent or submitted.