Official Rules

The Polar Express “I Believe” Contest

OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS CONTEST. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. THE CONTEST IS OPEN ONLY TO PERSONS WHO ARE, AT THE TIME OF ENTRY, PERMANENT LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 48 CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND AT LEAST 6 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.

  1. CONTEST PERIOD: The Polar Express “I Believe” Contest (the “Contest”) begins at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) on November 15, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on December 31, 2013 (the “Contest Period”). Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on December 31, 2013.

  2. ELIGIBILITY: To enter the Contest, you must, at the time of entry, a) be a permanent legal resident of the 48 contiguous United States or the District of Columbia, b) be physically located in the 48 contiguous United States or the District of Columbia, and c) be 6 years of age or older. The Contest is void outside of the above geographic areas and where prohibited or restricted by law. The Contest, and any website pages and advertisements relating thereto, are intended for viewing only within the United States. Employees, officers, directors, representatives, independent contractors and agents of RPMC (“Sponsor”), Warner Bros. Consumer Products (“WBCP”), Rail Events, Inc., Lionel.com LLC, Steiff North America, Inc., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, PaperStyle.com, Inc., the Judges (as defined below), Chris Van Allsburg, and the parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries of Sponsor and such entities, and their advertising and promotion agencies (collectively, the “Contest Entities”), and members of their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouses, regardless of where they reside) and members of their households (whether related or not), are ineligible to participate in this Contest or win a prize. Eligibility will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

  3. HOW TO ENTER:

    1. Read the rules: First, visit www.ThePolarExpressContest.com (the “Website”) during the Contest Period to receive details on how to enter the Contest and read the Official Rules.
    2. Write a draft of an essay: Write a draft of an essay that describes what you believe in - your “I Believe” essay (“Essay”). The contents of this Essay will later be typed or copied into the online entry form so you might want to use a word processing program to draft it and save a copy of your draft of the Essay in electronic form. Your Essay must be original and unique.   Therefore, the Essay cannot be submitted more than once.   In the event either the same Essay is submitted by a contestant more than once, or is submitted by more than one contestant, then only the first Essay received by Sponsor in accordance with the Official Rules will be eligible and any additional submissions of the same Essay will be disqualified. Your Essay must be a minimum of 100 words but may not exceed 500 words. Please see below for further restrictions on the content of your Essay.
    3. Online Entry:

      Visit the Website during the Contest Period and follow the on-screen directions to provide your date of birth.

      1. If you are under 13 years old: After providing your date of birth, complete the online entry form by providing your first name and your parent or legal guardian’s email address. You may either type your Essay into the text box provided in the online entry form or, alternatively, copy the Essay drafted in your word processing program and paste it into the text box. Your completed online entry form and your Essay are collectively referred to herein as your “entry”. Your entry must be submitted during the Contest Period. Entries are only accepted online and in the manner described above. Important: In the online entry form you must provide your parent’s or legal guardian’s email address so that Sponsor or Sponsor’s agent can send an email to your parent/legal guardian advising him/her of your attempt to enter this Contest and requesting his/her permission for you to enter the Contest (the “Parental Notification Email”). A parent or legal guardian of an online entrant who is under 13 must grant his/her permission for the entrant to enter the Contest and must also provide to the Sponsor (in accordance with the requirements of the Parental Notification Email) all required personal information with respect to such entrant as may be required to award a prize hereunder (collectively “Personal Information”) in order for such contestant to be eligible to win a prize in this Contest. Failure of the parent/legal guardian to grant such permission and provide such information in the manner and within the time specified in the Parental Notification Email and these Official Rules will result in the disqualification of such entrant. If your parent/legal guardian does not grant permission for you to enter the Contest in the manner specified by the Parental Notification Email, or if he/she fails to provide all of the information requested in accordance with the provisions of the Parental Notification Email, then your entry will be disqualified.
      2. If you are 13 years old or older: After providing your date of birth, you will be asked to complete the official online entry form for persons 13 and over in its entirety, including providing your Essay in the text box. You may either type your Essay into the text box provided in the online entry form or, alternatively, copy the Essay drafted in your word processing program and paste it into the text box. Your completed online entry form and your Essay are collectively referred to herein as your “entry”. Your entry must be submitted during the Contest Period. Entries are only accepted online and in the manner described above.
  4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRIES:

    1. There is a limit of one (1) entry per person and per email address (or parental/guardian email address, as applicable) per day for entries. Only complete entries including all required information will be accepted. An entry that is incomplete or does not comply with these Official Rules will be disqualified. Sponsor may also disqualify any contestant who provides false or misleading information in connection with an entry or the Contest. Sponsor will not verify or acknowledge receipt of entries.
    2. A “contestant” is defined as an eligible person who completes an official online entry form, writes an Essay, and submits the official entry form and Essay within the Contest Period in accordance with the Official Rules for the Contest. Anyone submitting an Essay who has not submitted an official entry form will not be deemed a contestant. Entries can only be accepted in accordance with the procedures set forth in these Official Rules.
    3. Each contestant agrees, warrants and represents that
      1. The Essay is his/her original work and he/she has all rights to the Essay,
      2. The Essay was developed specifically for the purpose of this Contest and has not otherwise been submitted elsewhere, distributed, published, exploited and/or appeared in whole or in part in any media, and has not won any award in a competition, and
      3. No one else has any rights in or with respect to his/her Essay.
    4. Any entry with a Essay that does not conform with the requirements of these Official Rules for any reason, including, without limitation, a Essay that violates the content restrictions listed below, or that is otherwise inappropriate (as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion), may be disqualified. All Essays are subject to the following content restrictions:

      1. Neither the Essay nor any parts of the Essay must not have been submitted previously in a promotion of any kind or exhibited or displayed publicly through any means.
      2. The Essay must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or constitute copyright infringement;
      3. The Essay must not contain any ideas or content that the contestant considers proprietary;
      4. The Essay must not contain material that is inappropriate, rude, crude, derogatory, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous, or material that portrays Sponsor and/or any Contest Entities in a negative light (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion);
      5. The Essay must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual, or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion); and
      6. The Essay must not contain material that is unlawful, or in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any applicable jurisdiction.
  5. SELECTION OF FINALISTS: On or about January 3, 2014, a panel of judges determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion (the “Judges”) will select thirty (30) finalists (the “Finalists”) from among all eligible contestants by judging each Essay using the following criteria (collectively, “Judging Criteria”):

    1. Originality – 45%
    2. Poignant/Touching – 35%
    3. Passion of the Belief – 20%

    Using such Judging Criteria, the Judges will select a total of thirty (30) contestants with the thirty (30) highest scored Essays as Finalists.

    In the event of a tie, the contestant with the highest score in the first judging criterion set forth above will be declared a Finalist. In the event there is still a tie, the contestant with the highest score in the second judging criterion set forth above will be declared a Finalist. If there is still a tie, the Judges will, in their sole discretion, select the contestant who will be declared a Finalist. The decisions of the Judges relating to the judging of all contestants are final and the decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest. In the event it is determined that any potential Finalist is ineligible to participate in this Contest, then such potential Finalist will be disqualified.

  6. SELECTION OF THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER: On or about January 31, 2014, Chris Van Allsburg, the author of The Polar Express (“Mr. Van Allsburg”) will select one Grand Prize winner (“Grand Prize Winner”) from among all eligible thirty (30) Finalists by judging each Essay using the Judging Criteria and selecting the one (1) Finalist with the highest score as the Grand Prize Winner. In the event of a tie, the Finalist with the highest score in the first judging criterion set forth above will be declared the winner. In the event there is still a tie, the Finalist with the highest score in the second judging criterion set forth above will be declared the winner. If there is still a tie, Mr. Van Allsburg will, in his sole discretion, select the contestant who will be declared the Grand Prize Winner. The decisions of Mr. Van Allsburg relating to the judging of all Finalists are final and the decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding in all respects relating to this Contest. In the event it is determined that any potential winner is ineligible to participate in this Contest, then such potential prize winner will be disqualified.

  7. WINNER NOTIFICATION: The potential Grand Prize Winner will be notified by telephone, mail, email or by delivery of the prize using the contact information provided at the time of entry, at Sponsor’s sole discretion. If Sponsor cannot engage in a live conversation with a potential winner within five (5) days from the first notification attempt or if the Sponsor tries to contact a potential winner via email and cannot receive any information requested from such potential winner within five (5) days from when the email is sent, then such person may be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected. Although Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, choose to leave a message or messages on a potential winner’s voicemail service or answering machine, such messages are solely to facilitate live contact within the five (5) day period and do not constitute a “live conversation” for purposes of these Official Rules. All notification requirements, as well as other requirements within these Official Rules, will be strictly enforced. Each Finalist will be notified by the delivery of the Finalist Prize to such Finalist.

  8. PRIZES:

    One (1) Grand Prize: The Grand Prize consists of: Round-trip coach class air transportation for the Grand Prize winner and three guests to Flagstaff, Arizona from the major U.S. gateway airport nearest Grand Prize winner’s home; four (4) days/three (3) nights hotel accommodations at the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel (double occupancy per room for two (2) rooms or quadruple occupancy for one (1) room); four (4) tickets to the Polar Express Train Ride; breakfast, lunch and dinner for four (4) daily; mid-size car rental for the duration of winner’s stay (designated licensed driver must be 25 years or older; excludes gas, tolls, parking, collision damage waiver, and insurance, and is subject to car rental terms and conditions). In addition to the trip for four, the Grand Prize winner will also receive a “Polar Express” Conductor Steiff Bear valued at $298.00, a deluxe Lionel Polar Express Train Set (G-Gauge), “The Polar Express” hard cover book autographed by Chris Van Allsburg, and a coupon for a set of personalized holiday cards by PaperStyle.com. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the Grand Prize is $7,306.94. If the winner resides in Flagstaff or within a one hundred (100) mile radius of Flagstaff (“local resident”), in lieu of the round-trip coach air transportation, winner may receive round-trip limousine transportation for winner and his/her travel companions from winner’s residence to the hotel and/or Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, substitute another prize component. No compensation will be awarded in lieu of the difference in the ARV for the Grand Prize for a local resident and the ARV for the Grand Prize for a winner who is not a local resident. The actual value of the Grand Prize may vary depending upon the location of the Grand Prize winner’s residence, fares at the time of travel and the value of services rendered and products provided at the time of the event. Any difference between the actual value and ARV will not be awarded. Winner is responsible for transportation to and from the major U.S. gateway airport and his/her residence, including but not limited to any costs associated therewith. The winner of the Grand Prize and his/her travel companions must travel on dates specified by WBCP (approximately in November 2014). If the potential Grand Prize winner cannot travel on such dates, then he/she may be disqualified and the eligible Finalist with the next highest score may be selected as the potential Grand Prize winner, in Sponsor's sole discretion and if time permits. All travel arrangements must be made by Sponsor at least thirty-five (35) days prior to travel, and winner and his/her travel companions must travel together on the same itinerary. Exact travel times and arrangements are subject to availability and blackout periods. The Contest Entities are not responsible for any cancellation with respect to travel, delays, diversions or substitutions, or any act or omission whatsoever with respect to the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize winner must comply with all hotel check-in requirements, including but not limited to providing a major credit card at check-in. All meals, taxes, gratuities, incidentals (including mini-bar and entertainment expenses), souvenirs, taxicab fares, phone charges, public ground transportation, and any other expenses not specifically identified in these Official Rules as included in the Grand Prize are the responsibility of the Grand Prize winner. Sponsor will not replace any lost, mutilated, or stolen tickets, travel vouchers or certificates. If the Grand Prize winner or any travel companion of the Grand Prize winner is deemed a minor in his/her state of residence, then the parent/legal guardian of such minor must accompany the winner on the trip. Unless the winner is the parent or legal guardian of the travel companion, the travel companion must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older as of the date of departure.

    Thirty (30) Finalist Prizes: Each prize consists of a prize pack which includes: a deluxe Lionel Polar Express Train Set (G-Gauge), “The Polar Express” hard cover book autographed by Chris Van Allsburg, and a coupon for a set of personalized holiday cards by PaperStyle.com. The ARV of each Finalist Prize is $258.94.

    The approximate total value of all prizes is $15,075.14. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty that autographed prizes can be sold, bartered, or traded for at the stated values. The value of autographed prizes is subject to market conditions, which can fluctuate. All prizes are provided “as is” with no warranty or guarantee by Sponsor, either express or implied. Any and all warranties and/or guarantees for a prize (if any) are available exclusively from the manufacturer of the prize and are subject to such manufacturers’ terms therefore. Winner agrees to rely solely upon such manufacturer(s) for any such warranties and/or guarantees. No transfer, substitution or cash equivalent for prizes is allowed, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize, in whole or in part, of equal or greater monetary value if a prize cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, as described for any reason. All expenses not specifically identified in these Official Rules are the sole responsibility of each winner. Sponsor shall not be liable for failure to perform any of its obligations hereunder resulting directly or indirectly from or contributed to by any acts of God, acts of a participant, acts of civil or military authority, terrorism or terrorist threats, fire, strikes or other labor disputes, accidents, floods, epidemics, war, riot, delays in transportation, lack or inability to obtain materials, components, labor or fuel supplies, or other circumstances beyond the Sponsor’s reasonable control, whether similar or dissimilar to the foregoing. Please allow 4 - 6 weeks for the delivery of Finalist Prizes from the time the Finalists are selected.

  9. RELEASES/TAXES: Before the potential Grand Prize winner is deemed an official winner, he/she will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Publicity/Liability Release in the form provided by Sponsor (except where imposing such condition is prohibited by law) (“Affidavit/Release”). Each travel companion is required to execute a Publicity/Liability Release in the form provided by Sponsor (except where prohibited by law). If a potential Grand Prize winner or a travel companion is deemed a minor in his/her state of residence, then the parent/legal guardian of such minor must sign any documents required herein on behalf of such minor. If signed copies of the Affidavit/Release are not returned within the time indicated in the documents, or if a potential winner is found to be ineligible, or if a potential winner does not comply with the Official Rules, then such potential winner may be disqualified. If a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, then the corresponding potential winner may be subject to disqualification. All federal, state or other tax liabilities (including income taxes) arising from each prize awarded and its use will be the sole responsibility of each official winner. The Grand Prize winner will be issued an IRS form 1099.

  10. DISQUALIFICATION: In the event any contestant, or any potential prize winner or prize winner is disqualified herein for any reason, then, at Sponsor's sole discretion and if time permits, an alternative potential prize winner may be selected using the same judging/selection criteria and procedures (including tie-breaking criteria and procedures) set forth in these Official Rules as were used to select the person subject to disqualification.

  11. USE/OWNERSHIP: All entries, including winning and non-winning Essays, information or any other tangible or intangible materials submitted by a contestant to Sponsor for any reason shall become the property of WBCP, even if labeled or otherwise identified as confidential or proprietary, whether the contestant is disqualified or not, and will not be returned. Except to the extent prohibited by United States law, by participating in the Contest, contestant agrees that: i) WBCP shall own the entire content of contestant’s entry submitted by the contestant (including all rights embodied therein) and such contestant shall not showcase, advertise, publicize or highlight the Essay or his/her participation in the Contest without the prior written permission of WBCP, ii) contestant shall have no right to review or approve edits, alterations or modifications to the Essay), and the contestant waives any “moral rights” in his or her entry and the Essay , and iii) WBCP and its designees have the right to reproduce, alter, amend, edit, publish, modify, crop and publicly display all elements of such entry (including the Essay submitted and the contestant’s name, address [city and state], biographical information, statements, voice, photograph and other likeness), in whole or in part, in any and all media either now or hereafter known, in perpetuity throughout the universe for all purposes (including but not limited to promotional and marketing purposes, and for advertising, publicizing and promoting the WBCP’s products and services), without notification and without attribution or compensation of any kind to contestant or any third party. WBCP reserves all rights, including without limitation, the right to reproduce, alter, amend, edit, publish, modify, crop and use each entry (including the Essay associated with such entry) in connection with commercials, advertisements and promotions related to WBCP (including viral campaigns), video and audio compilations, the sales of WBCP’s products and services, the Contest and any other contests associated with WBCP, in any and all media, now or hereafter known, including but not limited to, all forms of television distribution, theatrical advertisements, radio, the Internet (including YouTube™ and social media), newspapers, magazines, and billboards. WBCP shall have no obligation (express or implied) to use any entry (including the Essay, or to otherwise exploit any entry (including the Essay) or, if commenced, to continue the distribution or exploitation thereof, and WBCP may at any time abandon the use of any entry (including the Essay) for any reason, with or without legal justification or excuse, and contestants shall not be entitled to any damages or other relief by reason thereof.

  12. CONTEST CONDITIONS: By participating, each contestant agrees: i) to be bound by these Official Rules and any other documents required by Sponsor herein (including any affidavits and/or releases referenced herein) and by the decisions of the Sponsor, the Judges, and Chris Van Allsburg, and to waive any right to claim ambiguity in this Contest, the Official Rules or any other documents required by Sponsor herein (including any affidavits and/or releases referenced herein), ii) to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Contest Entities, and their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all third party liability, claims, losses, damages, demands, causes of action, penalties and expenses due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity, or from a contestant’s acceptance, receipt, possession and/or use or misuse of any prize, or arising out of or related to any statement, action or failure to act by a contestant during or in connection with his/her participation herein and/or any breach or alleged breach of these Official Rules or of any other documents required by Sponsor (including any affidavits and/or releases referenced herein), and, iii) not to sue and to hereby irrevocably and unconditionally release, waive and forever discharge the Released Parties, from any and all liabilities, claims and demands of any kind or nature whatsoever, in law or equity, whether known or unknown, which contestant (or contestant’s successors-in-interest, heirs and/or agents) ever had, now have, or in the future may have against the Released Parties, including, but not limited to claims arising out of or related to personal injury (including death) and/or damage, theft, loss or any other harm resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in the Contest or any Contest related activity, the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of the prizes and/or the use of any of the rights granted herein (including, without limitation, the use and exploitation of the contestant’s name, address [city and state], biographical information, statements, Essay, voice, photograph and/or other likeness).

  13. PRIVACY POLICY: All information submitted to Sponsor as part of this Contest will be treated in accordance with WBCP’s privacy policy, available at www.thepolarexpresscontest.com. More specifically, Sponsor may collect information that you provide to enter the Contest and will use personal information you provide to enter the Contest to actually conduct the Contest. WBCP may further use the personal information to send you information about WBCP’s products. WBCP will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of receiving this information at any time after you first receive such information from WBCP. Sponsor may also provide the personal information you provide to enter this Contest to third party fulfillment companies so that such companies may process and deliver prizes to winners.

  14. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: The Contest Entities are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, undeliverable, illegible, unreadable, unviewable, garbled, corrupted, damaged, stolen or incomplete entries, whether due to system errors, human errors or failures, or faulty transmissions or other telecommunications, or other types of malfunctions or interferences, and/or for entries not received resulting from any hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed, incomplete or garbled computer or telephone transmissions, typographical or system or human errors and failures, or faulty transmissions, or as a result of any other error or problem of any kind relating to or in connection with this Contest, whether technical, mechanical, typographical, printing, human or otherwise, including, without limitation, errors or problems which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the collection and processing of the entries and/or the judging of the Contest, the announcement of a prize or in any Contest-related materials. Sponsor may prohibit a contestant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that said contestant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair playing practices, or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other contestants or Sponsor’s representatives. If for any reason any portion of this Contest is not capable of running as planned, including, but not limited to, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud or any other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest, then Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest and, in Sponsor's sole discretion, select potential winners from those eligible entries received up to the cancellation/suspension date. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A CONTESTANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY CONTEST-RELATED WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEY’S FEES) FROM ANY SUCH CONTESTANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

  15. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, contestant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate Federal or state courts located in Los Angeles, California; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will contestant be permitted to obtain awards for, and contestant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the contestants and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California.

  16. RULES/WINNERS LIST: To receive an additional copy of these rules or winners list, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The Polar Express “I Believe” Contest, P.O. Box 8991, Calabasas, CA 91372-8991 so that it is received by no later than March 15, 2014. Please specify “Rules” or “Winners List.” You may also view the Official Rules at www.ThePolarExpressContest.com.

  17. SPONSOR: RPMC, 23975 Park Sorrento, Suite 410, Calabasas, CA 91302.

Grand Prize Finalist Prize View Finalists Essays