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Have you had an inspiring life-changing experience? If so, we'd like to hear your story! TODAY is looking for one exceptional story, with the prize being an original song inspired by the winner’s essay, performed by a surprise celebrity guest on TODAY! Don't forget to include your name, address, telephone number, email address and date of birth.

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TODAY
TODAY

Do you have an amazing or inspiring life story? Think you can eloquently write about a life-changing experience you've had? If so, we'd like to hear your story! TODAY is looking for  exceptional stories, with the prize being a paid trip to New York City for an original song —inspired by the winner’s essay — performed by a surprise performer.

TODAY producers are looking for a viewer who has submitted an essay on the following topic: An experience in your life that has become a part of your story. Your essay must be original (that is, written by you), must be a true story, typed legibly in the English language, and no more than 500 words in length. You must read the contest rules below before you submit your story!

                                                                                                                                      

Today’s “Everyone Has A Story” Contest

Official Rules

January 1, 2014—December 31, 2014

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION:  No purchase necessary. A purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Today’s “Everyone Has A Story” Contest (“Contest”) will begin on January 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM ET and end on December 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET (“Contest Period”). All times in the Contest refer to Eastern Time (“ET”). Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible Entries (defined below) received. Contest is subject all applicable federal, state and local laws.

ELIGIBILITY: Open only to permanent, legal United States (“U.S.”) residents who are physically residing in one (1) of the forty-eight (48) continental U.S. or the District of Columbia (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories), and who are eighteen (18) years of age or older and of the age of majority in their state of residence as of the start of the Contest Period. Officers, directors, and employees of Contest Entities (as defined below), members of these persons’ immediate families (spouses and/or parents, children, and siblings, and their spouses, regardless of where they reside), and/or persons living in the same households as these persons (whether or not related thereto) are not eligible to enter or win the Contest. Contest Entities, as referenced herein, shall include The Today Show (“TODAY”) and NBCUniversal Media, LLC, both located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 (collectively, “Sponsors”), and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliate companies, and administrative, advertising, and promotion agencies, and any other entity involved in the development, administration, promotion, or implementation of the Contest. Entrants must also be of good moral character. TODAY reserves the right to exclude anyone convicted of a crime (other than moving violations of a misdemeanor type that did not involve personal injury, drugs or alcohol). Entrants must have nothing in their background that would be an embarrassment to Sponsors. At Sponsors’ request, each Entrant must be willing to sign a publicity release and an affidavit attesting that such Entrant meets all of the foregoing eligibility requirements. Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify Entrants for not meeting any of the requirements outlined above or for any other reasons, in Sponsors’ sole discretion. Entrants must agree that, if selected as a Winner (as defined below), they will be available to travel to New York, NY on dates chosen by Sponsors, which are subject to change in the sole discretion of Sponsors.

HOW TO ENTER: The Contest will consist of twelve (12) monthly selections (each a “Monthly Selection”) conducted over twelve (12) months during the Contest Period. Each Monthly Selection will consist of: (i) a monthly entry period (“Monthly Entry Period”) as detailed in the chart below; and (ii) a Monthly Selection conducted on or about the end of the corresponding monthly judging period (“Monthly Judging Period”) as detailed in the chart below from amongst all eligible Entries received during the corresponding Monthly Entry Period. Entries for each Monthly Selection must be received before the end of the corresponding Monthly Entry Period. Entries for the last Monthly Selection (Monthly Selection 12) must be received by December 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. Limit one (1) Entry per person/email address per Monthly Entry Period, for no more than twelve (12) Entries per person/email address during the Contest Period. Multiple Entries received from any person or email address beyond this limit will void all such additional Entries.

To enter the Contest, during the Contest Period, log on to http://www.klgandhoda.com (the “Website”) and click on the Contest icon. Then follow the provided instructions to complete and thereafter submit the entry form, which includes your name, address, telephone number, email address, and date of birth (the “Entry”). As part of the Entry, you will also be required to submit a statement of five-hundred (500) words or less (“Essay”) on the following theme: “an experience in your life that has become a part of your story” (“Theme”). You may submit the Essay online according to the provided instructions on the Website. Essay must be submitted in the English language. All Entries become the property of Sponsors, and will not be acknowledged or returned.

You must submit the Essay as part of your Entry to enter and be eligible for the Contest. Your Essay must be original (that is, written by you), true and verifiable. You must have the permission of any person that you identify or otherwise refer to in your Essay. By entering the Contest, entrants grant Sponsors the non-exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable rights to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, and otherwise exploit the Essay and to incorporate the Essay in other works in any and all markets and media worldwide in perpetuity. Entrants warrant that they have the sole and exclusive right to grant such rights to Sponsors and that the Sponsors' reproduction, publishing, displaying, and/or other use of the Essay will not infringe on any rights of third parties, including, without limitation, copyright, trademark, privacy, or publicity, or create claims for defamation, false light, idea misappropriation, intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress, or breach of contract. If any Essay contains material that is violent, pornographic, obscene, illegal, inappropriate, or racially or morally offensive, or if any Essay does not comply with these Official Rules or meet Sponsors’ standards for any reason, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, such Essays (and the related Entries) may be rejected as ineligible for consideration. Entries must comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Sponsors shall have no obligation to copy, publish, display, or otherwise exploit the Essays.

Sponsors’ computer shall be the official timekeeper for all matters related to this Contest.  Entries generated by a script, macro, or other automated means will be disqualified.Entries that are incomplete, garbled, corrupted, or unintelligible for any reason, including, but not limited to, computer or network malfunction or congestion, are void and will not be accepted. In case of a dispute over the identity of an entrant, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Entry constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use entrant’s name, city, state, likeness, image, and/or voice for purposes of advertising, promotion, and publicity in any and all media now or hereafter known, throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification, permission, or approval.

MONTHLY SELECTION

Monthly Entry Period

Monthly Judging Period

1

January 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM ET – January 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

February 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – February 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

2

February 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – February 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

March 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – March 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

3

March 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – March 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

April 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – April 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

4

April 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – April 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

May 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – May 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

5

May 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – May 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

June 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – June 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

6

June 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – June 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

July 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – July 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

7

July 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – July 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

August 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – August 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

8

August 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – August 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

September 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – September 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

9

September 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – September 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

October  1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – October 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

10

October 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – October 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

November 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – November 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

11

November 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – November 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

December 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – December 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

12

December 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM ET – December 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET

January 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM ET – January 7, 2015 at 11:59 PM ET

PRIVACY: Entrants will have the opportunity to receive information from TODAY and selected partners by checking the appropriate boxes. If, at any time, you no longer wish to receive materials from TODAY or its partners, please go to its privacy policy, located at http://www.klgandhoda.com/privacy, or the applicable partner’s privacy policy and follow the procedures indicated.

JUDGING: During each Monthly Judging Period,a panel of qualified judges selected by Sponsors (“Judges”) will review the eligible Entries received during the corresponding Monthly Entry Period. One (1) potential winner (“Winner”) will be selected during each Monthly Judging Period. A total of twelve (12) potential Winners will be selected during the Contest. Judging will occur in two (2) rounds:

Round One: Judges will review the eligible Entries and score the Essays based equally on the following judging criteria: a) writing style (25%); b) creativity (25%); c) compelling quality of the underlying story (25%); and d) the extent to which Essay is conducive towards serving as the basis for an original song (25%) (“Round One Judging Criteria”). Entrants with the highest score in Round One will move on to Round Two. Number of Entrants who move on to Round Two will vary based on the quantity and quality of the Entries received during the corresponding Monthly Entry Period, and will be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion.

Round Two: Judges will contact the entrants who advance to Round Two for phone interviews (each an “Interview”). Sponsors shall contact contestants using the phone number submitted at the time of Entry, and failure of contestants to establish live phone contact with TODAY within three (3) days of Sponsors’ initial contact attempt during Round Two may result in disqualification and TODAY may choose the runner-up entrant with the next highest score based on the Round One Judging Criteria in its sole discretion. Interviews shall be scored by Judges based on the following criteria: a) eloquence (33.3%); b) personality and character (33.3%); and c) ability to tell personal story in a compelling manner (33.4%) (“Round Two Judging Criteria”). The Entrant with the highest score in Round Two will be selected as the potential Winner for that Monthly Selection. In the event of a tie, the Judges will break the tie by selecting the tied entrant who received the highest points from the Judges for “ability to tell personal story in a compelling manner” as the potential Winner. In the event a tie remains, the tied Entries will be judged by an additional tie-breaking judge, using the Round Two Judging Criteria, to determine which of the tied entrants will be the potential Winner. Entrants expressly grant Sponsors permission to record the Interview for television broadcast (including any follow-up Interviews that may follow Round Two) and grant Sponsors the non-exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable rights to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, create derivative works based upon, edit (including for length) and otherwise exploit the recorded phone conversations and the stories revealed during the Interviews and the ideas and expressions contained therein and to incorporate them in other works, including but not limited to documentaries, musical compositions, music albums, videos, motion pictures, and films, in any and all markets and media worldwide in perpetuity.

Non-winning Entries from a prior Monthly Selection will be reconsidered in all subsequent Monthly Judging Periods. Decisions of Sponsors and Judges are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Contest. Winning is subject to verification of eligibility. Potential Winners will be notified at the email address and/or telephone number submitted at the time of Entry. PotentialWinners may be required to execute and return affidavits of eligibility, releases of liability, and, except where prohibited, publicity releases (collectively, “Contest Documents”) within five (5) days of such notification. Noncompliance within this time period, with these Official Rules or the return of or inability to deliver any prize/prize notification may result in disqualification and, at Sponsors' discretion, and time permitting, an alternate potential Winner may be selected from among all eligible remaining Entries based on the Round Two Judging Criteria.

PRIZE:  There will be twelve (12) prizes awarded (“Prizes”), with one (1) Prize to each Winner. Each Prize will consist of: one (1) trip for Winner and up to one (1) guest (“Guest”) to New York, NY and an appearance on TODAY (“Trip”). Trip will include: round-trip, commercial coach-class air transportation for Winner and Guest from an airport in or near Winner’s residence to an airport in or near New York, NY (as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion); hotel accommodations for two (2) nights (standard room/double occupancy) for Winner and Guest at a hotel selected by Sponsors in their sole discretion (“Hotel”); ground transportation to and from the New York-area airport to the Hotel; and a daily meal stipend not to exceed fifty dollars ($50). Dates of Trips to be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Winners must agree to appear on TODAY during the time and at the location specified by TODAY (“Appearance”), and during the Appearance, a song, inspired by Winner’s Essay and Interviews, will be performed to Winner or by the Winner (“Performance”). Details of Performance and Appearance are subject to Sponsors’ sole discretion. Unavailability or unwillingness to participate in Appearance and/or Performance may result in disqualification and forfeiture of all Prize elements.

The estimated retail value (“ERV”) of each Prize is one thousand eight hundred and twenty five dollars ($1,825). The total ERV of all Prizes is twenty-one thousand and nine hundred dollars ($21,900). Actual retail value (“ARV”) of each Prize will vary depending on the point of departure, fare fluctuation for the flights and hotels. Any differences between stated ERV and ARV will not be awarded. Each Winner will receive an IRS Form 1099 from Sponsors for the total ARV of the Prize for the calendar year in which such Prize was won.

RECORDING: If Sponsors, in their sole discretion, elect to incorporate the audio and video recording of the Appearance and/or Performance (“Recording”), the Appearance and/or the Recording will not be considered an employment opportunity, and Winner will not be entitled to compensation or credit therefore. Sponsors will determine the nature of the Recording, in their sole discretion. If the Recording is broadcast, such broadcast will be at a time, for a length of time, and on a date determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Winners will be required to execute and return appearance releases, confidentiality agreements and such other documents required by Sponsors prior to their Appearance on TODAY and participation in the Segment or Rehearsal, if any (“Appearance Documents”). If a Winner fails to execute and return Appearance Documents in a timely manner, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, Appearance and Performance may be cancelled and Prize may be forfeited. The content of the Recording as, and if, finally broadcast, and the number of broadcasts and re-broadcasts thereof, if any, will be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Winner will have no right of review, notice, or approval of the content of the Recording or any broadcast thereof. Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify Winner and remove him/her from the Show at any time, if his/her behavior at any point is deemed by Sponsors to be disruptive, if it may or does cause damage to person, property, or reputation of Sponsors or otherwise violates the policies thereof, or if Winner does not follow the directions of Sponsors at all times. These Official Rules and the Contest are neither a contract nor an application for employment. Sponsors shall have no obligation to copy, publish, display, or otherwise exploit the Performance and/or Appearance.

No retail value is associated with the Appearance or the Performance, therefore, in the event that the Appearance or the Performance do not take place as scheduled for any reason, Sponsors’ sole responsibility will be to award the remaining portion of the Prize and no additional substitution or compensation will be awarded. All of the above Prize elements are subject to change and shall be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion.

Sponsors will determine all Prize details in their sole discretion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a Prize (or Prize element) of comparable or greater value for any reason at Sponsors sole discretion. All taxes and other unspecified expenses, costs, or fees associated with the acceptance and/or use of a Prize are the sole responsibility of Winners. Prizes cannot be transferred by Winners or redeemed for cash and are valid only for the items detailed above, with no substitution of a Prize by a Winner. If a Prize is unclaimed within a reasonable time after notification by Sponsors, it will be forfeited. If a Prize element is not available for any reason, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, the remaining elements of such Prize shall be awarded and shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsors’ prize obligation to Winner and no additional compensation will be awarded.

Airline and hotel reservations are subject to availability. Certain travel restrictions may apply. Travel and hotel arrangements will be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion and must be made through Sponsors. Once determined, no change, extension or substitution of trip dates is permitted, except by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Guest must be the age of majority in his/her state of residence as of the first date of travel or Winner must be Guest’s parent or legal guardian and must execute and return a release of liability and, except where prohibited, publicity release on behalf of minor, which must be returned to Sponsors by a date specified, or guest portion of Prize will be forfeited. Winner and Guest must travel together on the same itinerary. Unless otherwise indicated, no other travel elements (including, without limitation, insurance, gasoline, meals, gratuities, souvenirs, etc.) are included in Prize. Tickets are non-refundable and are not valid for business-related or group travel. Trip may not be combined with any other offer and may not qualify for frequent flyer miles. Tickets are valid only for travel on airlines chosen by Sponsors at Sponsors’ sole discretion. Sponsors will not replace any lost or stolen tickets, travel vouchers, or certificates. Sponsors have the right in their sole discretion to substitute ground transportation for air transportation depending on Winners’ location and/or place of residence. Travel must be completed by dates specified by Sponsors or Prize will be forfeited. Tickets will be issued only to Winners and Guest. Tickets are void if sold for cash or other consideration. Winners are responsible for any tax liability associated with trip, including applicable departure taxes or fees, inspection charges, security charges or other ticket or baggage fees. Sponsors shall have the right, but not the obligation to make any deductions and withholdings that Sponsors deem necessary or desirable under applicable federal, state, and local tax laws, rules, regulations, codes, or ordinances. Once issued, tickets are non-transferable and may not be reissued once travel has commenced. Open tickets may not be issued and stopovers are not permitted. If an unscheduled stopover occurs, full fare will be charged from stopover point for the remaining segments, including return, of the trip. Sponsors are not liable for any expenses incurred as a consequence of flight cancellation/delay. Each Winner and his/her Guest must have valid travel documents (e.g., valid government-issued photo identification and/or passport) prior to departure. Sponsors shall have no responsibility or liability for cancellations, delays, or any other change by any company or person providing any element of Prize due to reasons beyond Sponsors’ control, and are not responsible or liable for any expenses incurred as a consequence thereof. All travel will be at the risk of Winners and Guest. All elements of Prize must be redeemed at the same time. If a Winner chooses to take the trip with no Guest, the remaining elements of Prize shall be awarded and shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsors’ prize obligation to such Winner and no additional compensation will be awarded.

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CONDITIONS: By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees for entrant and for entrant’s heirs, executors, and administrators (a) to release and hold harmless Contest Entities and their respective officers, directors, and employees (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from such entrant’s participation in the Contest and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of Prize or any portion thereof (including any travel related thereto); (b) to indemnify Released Parties from any and all liability resulting or arising from the Contest and to hereby acknowledge that Released Parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to Prize, including express warranties provided exclusively by Prize supplier that are sent along with Prize; (c) if selected as a Winner, to the posting of such entrant’s name on Website and the use by Released Parties of such name, voice, image, and/or likeness for publicity, promotional, and advertising purposes in any and all media now or hereafter known, throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification, permission, or approval, and, upon request, to the giving of consent, in writing, to such use; and (d) to be bound by these Official Rules and to waive any right to claim any ambiguity or error therein or in the Contest itself, and to be bound by all decisions of the Sponsors, which are binding and final.Failure to comply with these conditions may result in disqualification from the Contest at Sponsors’ sole discretion.

ADDITIONAL TERMS: Sponsors reserve the right to permanently disqualify from any promotion any person they believe has intentionally violated these Official Rules. Any attempt to deliberately damage the Contest or the operation thereof is unlawful and subject to legal action by Sponsors, who may seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law. The failure of Sponsors to comply with any provision of these Official Rules due to an act of God, hurricane, war, fire, riot, earthquake, terrorism, act of public enemies, actions of governmental authorities outside of the control of Sponsors (excepting compliance with applicable codes and regulations), or other “force majeure” event will not be considered a breach of these Official Rules. Released Parties assume no responsibility for any injury or damage to entrants’ or to any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from entering or downloading materials or software in connection with the Contest. Released Parties are not responsible for telecommunications, network, electronic, technical, or computer failures of any kind; for inaccurate transcription of Entry information; for errors in any promotional or marketing materials or in these Official Rules; for any human or electronic error; or for Entries that are stolen, misdirected, garbled, delayed, lost, late, damaged, or returned. Sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify, or suspend the Contest or any element thereof (including, without limitation, these Official Rules) without notice in any manner and for any reason (including, without limitation, in the event of any unanticipated occurrence that is not fully addressed in these Official Rules). In the event of cancellation, modification, or suspension, Sponsors reserve the right to select Winners from among all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to the time of the event warranting such cancellation, modification, or suspension based on the Judging Criteria above. Notice of such cancellation, modification, or suspension will be posted at Website. Sponsors may prohibit any entrant or potential entrant from participating in the Contest, if such entrant or potential entrant shows a disregard for these Official Rules; acts with an intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other entrant, Sponsors, or Sponsors’ agents or representatives; or behaves in any other disruptive manner (as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion).  Sponsors reserve the right to modify these Official Rules for clarification purposes without materially affecting the terms and conditions of the Sweepstakes.

DISPUTESThe Contest is governed by, and will be construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, and the forum and venue for any dispute shall be in New York, New York. If THE controversy or claim is not otherwise resolved through direct discussions or mediation, it shall THEN be resolved by FINAL AND binding arbitration administered by JUDICIAL ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION SERVICES, INC., in accordance with its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures or subsequent versions thereof (“JAMS Rules”). The JAMS Rules for selection of an arbitrator shall be followed, except that the arbitrator shall be experienced and licensed to practice law in new york. All proceedings brought pursuant to this paragraph will be conducted in the County of new york. THE REMEDY FOR ANY CLAIM SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL DAMAGES, AND IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY PARTY BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES OR OTHER SUCH RELATED COSTS OF BRINGING A CLAIM, OR TO RESCIND THIS AGREEMENT OR SEEK INJUNCTIVE OR ANY OTHER EQUITABLE RELIEF.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: For the name of the Winners, available after January 8, 2015, visit the Website , or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to be received by March 8, 2015 to: Today’s “Everyone Has A Story” Contest, The Today Show, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, Attn: Katherine Cook.

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