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Official rules for Meatball Madness cookoff

TODAY is searching for the best meatball recipes from our viewers for a live showdown on November 3. Submit an original meatball recipe along with a video or photo of your dish. The entry deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 19. Here are the full rules for entering the cookoff.

Read the official rules, thenclick here to enter your recipe.

Today's Meatball Madness Cook-off Official Rules
October 7, 2011  - October 19, 2011

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Today’s Meatball Madness Cook-off (“Contest”) will begin on October 7, 2011 at 8:30 A.M. ET and end on October 19, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. ET (“Contest Period”). All times in the Contest refer to Eastern Time (“ET”). Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

SPONSORS: The Today Show (“TODAY”) and NBCUniversal Media, LLC, both located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112, shall be the sponsors of this Contest and shall be referred to herein collectively as “Sponsors”.

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 twenty-one (21) years of age or older and 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 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 be of good moral character. Sponsors reserve 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). At Sponsors’ request, the potential winner must be willing to sign an affidavit attesting that such entrant meets all of the foregoing eligibility requirements and possibly undergo a background check conducted by TODAY.

HOW TO ENTER: To enter the Contest, during the Contest Period log on to (the “Website”), click on the Contest banner, and follow the provided instructions to complete and thereafter submit the entry form, which includes entrant’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and date of birth (the “Entry Information”). As part of the Entry (as defined below), entrant will also be required to upload the following online according to the instructions provided on the Website: (a) an original (written by entrant) recipe for an original, homemade meatball dish in the English language (the “Recipe”); (b) one (1) photo of the entrant; and (c) one (1) photo of a dish entrant prepared using the Recipe (collectively “Photos”). Entry Information together with Recipe and Photos shall constitute entry (“Entry”). The Photos must have been taken within one (1) year of the start of the Contest Period and must feature only the entrant in one (1) photo and only the entrant’s dish in the other photo. Other than minor changes to lighting and coloring, the Photos must not have been altered or edited in any manner that distorts the original photographs. Photos must not have been taken by a professional photographer. By entering, entrant agrees that the Photos and Recipe (collectively referred to herein as the “Submissions”) and any other portion of the Entry may be broadcast on TODAY, on the Website, and in promotions and advertisements for TODAY. All Entries become the property of Sponsors and will not be acknowledged or returned.

Entrants must submit the Submissions as part of the Entry in order to enter and be eligible for the Contest. By entering the Contest, entrant agrees that he/she created the Recipe. By entering the Contest, entrant grants Sponsors the non-exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable rights to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, and otherwise exploit the Submissions and to incorporate the Submissions in other works in any and all markets and media worldwide in perpetuity without compensation or notification. 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 Submissions 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 Submissions contain material that is violent, pornographic, obscene, illegal, inappropriate, or racially or morally offensive or if any Submissions do not comply with these Official Rules or meet Sponsors’ standards for any reason, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, such Submissions (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 Submissions.

Entries must be received before October 19, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. ET to be eligible for the Contest. Sponsors’ computer shall be the official timekeeper for all matters related to this Contest. Limit of one (1) Entry 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. 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 the 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. 

SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION OF WINNER: A panel of qualified judges selected by Sponsors (“Judges”) will review the eligible Entries received during the Contest Period and select three (3) potential winners (each, a “Winner”) on or about October 26, 2011, based on the following judging criteria (“Judging Criteria”): Originality of Recipe (50%) and Creativity of Recipe (50%). 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 Originality of Recipe as the potential Winner. In the event a tie remains, an additional tie-breaking judge will judge the tied entries, using the Judging Criteria, to determine which of the tied Entries will be the potential Winner. Decisions of Judges are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Contest. Representatives of TODAY will contact the potential Winners, whose Entries received the three (3) highest scores from the Judges, using the phone number and/or email address submitted at the time of entry. If a potential Winner does not respond within twenty-four (24) hours of the initial contact, such potential Winner may be disqualified and TODAY may, in its sole discretion, select the runner-up Entry with the next highest score based on the Judging Criteria as a potential Winner. TODAY reserves the right to select less than three (3) potential Winners, no Winners at all, or cancel the Contest, if an insufficient number of eligible, complete, tasteful, appropriate, or generally qualified Entries are received by TODAY as determined by TODAY in its sole discretion. All potential Winners will be selected subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with the terms of these Official Rules. PotentialWinners may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, release of liability, and, except where prohibited, publicity release (collectively, “Contest Documents”) within two (2) 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' sole discretion, and time permitting, an alternate potential Winner may be selected with the next highest scoring Entry.

PRIZE: There will be three (3) prizes awarded (each, a “Prize”), one (1) Prize awarded to each Winner. Each Prize consists of the following: a trip (the “Trip”) to New York/New Jersey metropolitan area for Winner and an on-air appearance (“Appearance”) as part of TODAY’s Meatball Madness Cook-off (the “Recipes Demo”) scheduled to air on November 3, 2011. The Trip will consist of the following elements, each as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion: accommodations (standard room, single occupancy) for two (2) days/one (1) night at a hotel in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area on or about November 2, 2011, through November 3, 2011 (“Hotel”); round-trip, coach-class airfare from a major airport near Winner’s residence to a major airport in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area (”Destination Airport”); Appearance as part of the Recipes Demo on November 3, 2011, or on such other date designated by Sponsors in their sole discretion; round-trip ground transportation between Destination Airport and Hotel, and Hotel and set of TODAY in New York, NY (“TODAY Set”). Winners must be available to (a) travel to New York City on November 2, 2011, or on such other date as specified by Sponsors in their sole discretion, and (b) available for a Recipes Demon rehearsal (“Rehersal”) at TODAY Set on November 2, 2011 at 4:30 P.M. ET at TODAY Set, or Prize may be forfeited.

Estimated Retail Value (“ERV”) of each Prize is two thousand dollars ($2,000). The ERV of all Prizes awarded in the Contest is six thousand dollars ($6,000). Actual retail value (“ARV”) of Prizes will vary depending on the point of departure, point of arrival, and fare fluctuation for the Trip. Trip is subject to space availability, select blackout dates, and other travel restrictions. All taxes and other expenses, costs, or fees associated with the acceptance and/or use of Prize are the sole responsibility of Winners. Winners will receive an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 from Sponsors for the total ARV of Prize for the calendar year in which Prize was awarded. Any differences between stated ERV and ARV will not be awarded.  

All details of Prize will be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a similar Prize (or Prize element) of comparable or greater value in their sole discretion. Prize cannot be transferred by Winners or redeemed for cash and is valid only for the items detailed above, with no substitution of Prize by Winners. If Prize is unclaimed within a reasonable time after notification from Sponsors, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, it will be forfeited, and time permitting, the Prize may be awarded to the next highest scoring Entry based on the Judging Criteria, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. No other travel elements (including, without limitation, insurance, gasoline, meals, gratuities, souvenirs, etc.) are included in Prize. Airline and hotel reservations are subject to availability. Ticket is non-refundable and not valid for business-related or group travel. Ticket is valid only for travel on airline chosen by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Sponsors have the right in their sole discretion to substitute ground transportation for air transportation depending on Winners’ place of residence. Trip must be completed by the date specified by Sponsors or Prize will be forfeited. Ticket will be issued only to Winners. Tickets are void if sold for cash or other consideration. Winners are responsible for any tax liability, including applicable departure taxes or fees, all taxes and fees assessed at the time of ticketing, inspection charges, and security charges. Once issued, ticket is non-transferable and may not be reissued once travel has commenced. Open ticket 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. Winners must have valid travel documents (e.g., valid government-issued photo identification and/or passport) prior to departure, and failure to do so will result in forfeiture of Prize. Prize consists only of the elements set forth above. Travel arrangements must be made through Sponsors. 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. Winners may be required to execute and return additional documents, which, among other things, will permit the Sponsors to record and/or broadcast Winners’ appearances on TODAY, however, Sponsors are under no obligation whatsoever to do so. Date and/or time of Recipes Demo and/or Rehearsal are subject to change. Recipes Demo and/or Rehearsal are subject to cancellation. Winners acknowledge that accepting any portion of Prize shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsors’ Prize obligation to Winners and no additional compensation will be awarded. No retail value is associated with the Recipes Demo or Rehearsal. If TODAY is not in production or the Recipes Demo or Rehearsal are canceled for any reason, no substitution, transfer, or cash equivalent of the applicable portion of the Prize will be provided in lieu thereof, no additional compensation will be awarded, and the remaining elements of Prize shall not be awarded. All travel will be at the risk of Winners.

RECORDING: Sponsors, in their sole discretion, may choose to record and/or broadcast the appearance of Winners on TODAY. If Sponsors, in their sole discretion, elect to incorporate any audio and/or video recording of Winners (the “Recording”) into TODAY or other television shows, the taping and/or the Recording will not be considered an employment opportunity, and Winners will not be entitled to compensation or credit thereof. 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 return completed and signed appearance releases, confidentiality agreements and such other documents as may be required by Sponsors prior to their appearance on TODAY and participation in the Recipes Demo or Rehearsal, if any. Failure of Winners to complete and execute these documents in a timely manner, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion, may cause the Prize to be forfeited. The content of the Recording as, and if, finally exhibited and the number of exhibits and re-airs thereof, if any, will be determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. Winners will not have a right of review, notice, or approval of the content of the Recording or any exhibition or exploitation thereof. Sponsors have the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify Winners, cause the Prize to be forfeited, and remove Winners from TODAY at any time, if any Winner’s behavior is deemed by Sponsors to be disruptive or if it may or does cause damage to person, property, or reputation of Sponsors or if it otherwise violates the policies of Sponsors, or if Winners do not follow the directions of Sponsors at all times. These Official Rules and the Contest itself are neither a contract nor an application for employment.

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 or 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). 

DISPUTES: EXCEPT WHERE PROHIBITED, ALL ISSUES AND QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, VALIDITY, INTERPRETATION AND ENFORCEABILITY OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES, OR THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF YOU, TODAY, AND THE CONTEST SPONSORS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST (IF ANY), SHALL BE GOVERNED BY, AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH, THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, WITHOUT GIVING EFFECT TO ANY CHOICE OF LAW OR CONFLICT OF LAW RULES (WHETHER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION), WHICH WOULD CAUSE THE APPLICATION OF THE LAWS OF ANY JURISDICTION OTHER THAN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. YOU AGREE THAT If any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to THESE official RULES, the breach of any term hereof, or YOUR participation in connection with the contest cannot be settled through direct discussions, THE PARTIES shall endeavor first to settle the controversy or claim by mediation conducted in the CITY OF NEW YORK and administered by JAMS under its applicable rules.  If THE controversy or claim is not otherwise resolved through direct discussions or mediation, YOU agree that it shall THEN be resolved by FINAL AND binding arbitration conducted in the CITY OF NEW YORK, and administered by JAMS in accordance with its Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures or subsequent versions thereof (the “JAMS Rules”, available at , including, without limitation, the rule providing that each party shall pay pro rata its share of jams fees and expenses, and the rules providing for limited discovery and other exchange of information). The JAMS Rules for selection of an arbitrator shall be followed, except that the arbitrator shall be an arbitrator licensed to practice law in NEW YORK OR A RETIRED JUDGE.  Notwithstanding the above requirements, if any party files suit in court, or files an arbitration before first seeking to mediate, in direct violation of this paragraph, the other party NEED NOT request mediation to enforce their right to compel arbitration.  any mediation OR arbitration proceedings, testimony, OR discovery, along with any documents filed or otherwise submitted in the course of any such proceedings (and including the fact that the mediation or arbitration is even being conducted), shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third party except to the mediators or arbitrators and their staff, the parties’ attorneys and their staff, and any experts retained by the parties.  If any portion of the dispute resolution mechanism set forth HEREIN is found to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, that portion shall be severed from the rest and shall not affect YOUR agreement to resolve all controversies and claims through mediation and arbitration.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT: For the names of the Winners, available after November 3, 2011, visit .

ã2011 NBCUniversal Media, LLC All rights reserved.  Official Rules may be copied for personal use only and not for any commercial purposes whatsoever.