RULES, GUIDELINES, & HOW TO PLAY

The way the contest is handled is through a point allocation system. Each category has a certain number of points available to it -- each participant must take that total amount of points, and allocate it over the nominees in the category based on who they think has the best probability of winning. Each participant must be sure to spread all of the points available, and not put more points than are available. For instance, if Best Picture were worth 100 total points, there are several possibilities : a person could place 20 points on each of the five nominees if they were unsure of who might win, or place all 100 on one nominee if they feel very confident. Whichever nominee ends up winning on Oscar night is how many points the individual is awarded for that category. The person with the most amount of points at the end of Oscar night is the winner.

As a clearer example of how the contest is played, see the following example.

In our contest example, the category is Best Actor, worth 100 points. Humphrey Bogart chooses to place his votes in the following way:
HUMPHREY'S BALLOT FOR BEST ACTOR
Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II
Orson Welles in Citizen Kane
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver
John Wayne in Stagecoach
Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses
In this example, Humphrey is not as confident on who might win for Best Actor, so he's spreading the points around. Katharine Hepburn, on the other hand, feels pretty confident ...
KATHARINE'S BALLOT FOR BEST ACTOR
Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II
Orson Welles in Citizen Kane
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver
John Wayne in Stagecoach
Jack Lemmon in Days of Wine and Roses
She decides to place all 100 of her points on Pacino. So if Al Pacino were to actually win come Oscar Night, Katharine would get all 100 points added to her grand total, while Humphrey would get 30. If Robert De Niro were to win, Katharine would get no points for this category, while Humphrey's safer voting grabs him 40 additional points. If good old Orson Welles took it, neither one would get any points. And this works this way for all the various categories.

A unique tiebreaker question will be asked each year in the event of a tiebreak. In the event of a tiebreak, the individual that answers the tiebreak question correctly will take victory with the second closest person taking the next place in the event of a tie involving more than two people. If two or more individuals actually end up having the same tiebreak answer and tie in their scores, the next method to break the tie will be to award the winner who put their final votes in the earliest. For example, a person who placed their votes and made them final two days before the deadline would win the secondary tiebreak, compared to a person who finished up their ballot changes 5 minutes before the deadline. But again, this secondary tiebreak will only be consulted in the rare instance when the original tiebreak does not resolve the tie.

ADDITIONAL CONTEST INFORMATION: To use the online voting system, the participant must log in with their unique username and password. Once at the account screen, during the voting time period, all Oscar categories will be available to click on to place their votes. During the voting time period, a participant can submit their votes, and change them as many times as they want until the voting deadline. No votes are considered final until the voting deadline arrives. Therefore, participants can enter their votes right when the contest starts, and change them as they deem necessary at any time. Each time a participant changes votes, those votes override any older votes and they are never used again.

Once the voting deadline arrives, all votes as they exist in the system at the time of the deadline arriving are considered everyone's final votes. The system will not allow any vote changes or new votes once the deadline arrives. After the voting deadline, when the participant logs in to their account, they will see category links which allow them to view each category's master ballot to see everyone's votes for that category put together.

On Oscar Night, participants can access a special Live Results page, which can be accessed from their account or directly, and see live scoring of the contest results while the Oscars take place.

GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPANTS: There is a limit to two participants per single address.

Additional Guidelines:
1. All participants must have access to the internet. The Oscar Contest's voting is done online with an internet application specifically created for this contest. It is highly recommended that all participants use Microsoft Internet Explorer as their browser for using this application, version 4.0 or higher.

2. All participants must have an internet e-mail address where they can be reached at any time. This e-mail will be used to send important and informational e-mails about the contest as it progresses, as well as being used by the administrator to contact participants on an individual basis if needed for issues related to the contest. This e-mail address is not sold or used for mailing lists or spam, but is simply used to allow the contest administrator to contact contest participants.

3. If a person wishes to participate in the Oscar Contest, they must sign up and create an account in the online voting system each year they wish to participate (accounts are unique each year and do not carry over). During the signup, participants enter information about themselves, as well as selecting a unique username and password to use to protect their votes as their login to the system. Participants can change their personal information, including their login and password, at any time by logging in to the application and accessing the section to update their information. A specific date is set each year as the sign-up deadline. No persons may sign up for that contest once that deadline has passed.

4. All participants must have their ballots completely filled out, including answering of the tiebreak question, by the deadline specified each year. The online voting system is automatically programmed to turn off any new voting or changes at the specified deadline, and any categories left blank will have votes of zeros entered. Under no circumstances can there be any new or changed voting once the announced deadline has passed.

5. All participants must be over the age of 18.

6. The contest administrator reserves the right to remove participants from the game at any time who do not comply with the guidelines of this contest or of the web site.

7. Once the contest deadline has arrived, all participants who do not have a ballot status of COMPLETE, meaning they have either not filled in their ballots, or have only filled in some of the categories, will be removed from the contest. Participants need to make sure they have their ballots completely filled out by the deadline, including the tiebreak question.