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Where in the World is Matt Lauer? Contest

Official Rules

October 31, 2005


These are the official rules for the “WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MATT LAUER?” Contest (the “Contest”). Anyone considering submitting an application to participate in this Contest should read all of the information below for eligibility rules, requirements of participation, and an explanation of the Contest prize.

Please note that all entrants must be willing and able to, among other things:

  • make themselves available for phone interviews with TODAY during the period October 31, 2005 to November 14, 2005;
  • provide all of the information requested in the entry form;
  • undergo a background check at The TODAY Show’s discretion

The requirements detailed in these Official Rules cannot be waived or changed except by TODAY, and entrants who cannot perform these requirements or make the necessary commitment should not submit an entry form.

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited or restricted by applicable federal or state laws and regulations.


The Contest begins on Monday, October 31st, 2005, at 8 AM ET and all entries must be received by no later than FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH AT NOON ET (“Contest Period”).  All times in these Official Rules are defined by Eastern Time. You may only enter the Contest once during the Contest Period. 

To enter, go to, click on the “WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MATT LAUER?” Contest icon and follow the instructions. Entrants will be asked to select one of the following “Where In the World Is Matt Lauer” destinations:

Cairo, Egypt; Venice, Italy; Athens, Greece; Agra, India; Mt. Everest, Nepal; Rome, Italy; Great Wall of China, China; Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii; Bilbao, Spain; Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe; Florence and Pisa, Italy; Machu Picchu, Peru; Paris, France; Bangkok, Thailand; Mykonos, Greece; Marrakech, Morocco; Ankgor Wat, Cambodia; Edinburgh, Scotland (St. Andrews, Skibo Castle); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Monaco (“Destinations”).

Then, entrants must submit an original essay consisting of up to 500-1,000 wordsor less, stating why entrants believe that they should win a trip for two to their selected Destination (the “Essay”). Please mention your selected Destination in the text of your Essay. Also tell us about your travel companion.  We want to know who you would bring … and why? The Essays must be entrant’s original work, must not have been entered in a previous contest, must not have not been previously published, must not infringe on any third-party rights and must be deemed suitable by TODAY in its sole discretion. All entries become the property of NBC and will not be acknowledged or returned.  No more than one entry per email address or household.  Multiple entries received from any person or email address thereafter will void all such additional entries. 


The Contest is open only to legal residents of the continental United States and the District of Columbia (Residents of ALASKA, HAWAII, GUAM and PUERTO RICO are excluded) who are at least 21 years of age as of October 31st, 2005.

To be eligible to enter, you and your travel companion must each:

  • Possess a valid United States passport, which does not expire prior to December 2006 and is not subject to any travel restriction;
  • Be willing and physically able to perform moderate physical activity, such as light hiking and boat travel;
  • Appear on the TODAY show broadcast (in TODAY’s sole discretion) at a date and time designated by NBC;
  • Be interviewed by telephone;
  • Be willing to undergo a background check conducted by TODAY and willing to sign waiver forms authorizing the release of personal and background information;
  • Not be an elected official or not currently running for any political office (local, state or federal); and

Winner’s travel companion must be 18 years old or companion must be winner’s child or legal guardian, must be available to travel from same departure location as Winner, and must be able to comply with the above eligibility criteria.  Employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives and immediate family and household members of NBC Universal, Inc. (“NBC”), MSNBC Cable LLC (“MSNBC”), NBC's affiliated TV stations, and their parent, affiliate and subsidiary companies are not eligible to participate in the Contest or to win. By participating, entrants agree to abide and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges that are final and binding in all matters relating to this Contest.

Entrants must agree, if they are among the potential Finalists (as defined below), to make themselves and their travel companions available to TODAY for telephone interviews, filming and to submit photographs of themselves and their travel companions to TODAY for possible use by TODAY on the contest website, on NBC and in advertisements and promotions. 


Representatives of TODAY (the “Judges”) will select from all eligible entries, on a rolling basis as they are received, a group of up to twenty (20) potential Finalists (“potential Finalists”). Once the potential Finalists are selected, TODAY will not review any more entries, unless any potential Finalist becomes ineligible, in which event, TODAY reserves the right to select additional entries on a random basis.

The Judges will review entrants’ Essays and select the potential Semi-Finalists based on the following equally weighted criteria: creativity, personality, sense of adventure, and writing style.  Potential Finalists will be contacted by TODAY between approximately October 31, 2005, and November 15, 2005, and potential Finalists must be reasonably available for phone interviews with TODAY during that period.

As a condition of eligibility, certain potential Finalists will be asked by TODAY to submit a digital photograph of themselves. The photo must not be retouched or otherwise edited or modified other than as necessary to scan the photo into digitized form (“Photos”).  In addition, certain potential Finalists and their travel companions will be required to complete and sign a Declaration of Eligibility, Acceptance of Conditions, and Waiver of Liability and Publicity Release (the “Releases”).  The Photos and Releases must be received by TODAY within seventy-two (72) hours of TODAY’s request.  Potential Finalists who satisfactorily submit the Photos and Releases within 72 hours shall be Finalists (the “Finalists”).

If for any reason any of the potential Finalists do not meet any of the above eligibility requirements in TODAY’S sole discretion, the Judges may select an alternate Finalist or disqualify the entrant. Finalists agree to allow TODAY to use their photos, the Essays, and the Entrants’ name city, state, likeness and/or voice for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in all media in perpetuity without additional compensation. 

The Judges will select one Grand Prize Winner (the “Winner”) from among all eligible Finalists. Selection criteria used by Judges to determine the Winner are the same used to select the Finalists but are based on the Essay; entrant’s conduct and responses during the telephone interview; and the digital photograph submitted. The Judges’ decisions during all phases of the Winner selection process are final and binding and entrants agree to be bound by these decisions.  

The Winner will be announced and/or notified by TODAY on or about Monday, November 14th, 2005.  TODAY may surprise you by telling you that you are the Winner ON-AIR. Entrants agree that TODAY may film and broadcast TODAY advising entrant that he or she has been selected as the Winner (or potential Finalist) by announcing Winner’s or Finalist’s name on-air. 

If Winner is not able to travel for any reason at the date and time determined by TODAY in its sole discretion, then an alternate Winner may be selected from all remaining eligible Finalists.  All dates are subject to change in the sole discretion of TODAY.

Contest Winner’s travel companion will be required to sign and return to TODAY a Declaration of Eligibility, Acceptance of Conditions, and Waiver of Liability and Publicity Release. If the Contest Winner is disqualified or otherwise unable to fulfill the requirements asked of them, an alternate Winner may be selected by TODAY, in its sole discretion.


You may only enter once during the Contest period. Any entries in excess of the limit will be ineligible. NBC is not responsible for any late, misdirected or incomplete entries or failure of any electronic equipment, computer transmissions and/or network connections. NBC is not responsible for any inaccuracies in information which may be used in the Contest, or for any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the entries. NBC reserves the right to discontinue the Contest at any time.

Entrants using electronic entry must be the registered subscriber of the email account from which the entry is made. Caution: Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to deliberately damage any online service or web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is in violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, NBC reserves the right to seek damages and/or other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. TODAY reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the contest if it is not capable of being completed as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, for the web-site portion of the contest.


The Prize includes: (1) two round-trip coach airfares for Winner and travel companion to Winner’s selected Destination from a major airport near Winner’s residence; (2 transportation to and from the airport; (3) $300 per day of trip; and (5-7) five to seven night’s accommodations (single room/double occupancy), depending on the Destination.  Travel and hotel arrangements shall be determined by TODAY, which, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to provide ground transportation in lieu of air transportation. Trip must be taken on dates specified by Sponsors or prize will be forfeited. Any unclaimed and/or unused portion of the prize package will be forfeited and will not be substituted. Regarding all travel provided by TODAY, certain blackout dates and restrictions will apply.

The approximate estimated value of the Prize is three thousand dollars ($3000.00), but will vary depending on the Destination and Winner’s residence. Sponsor reserve(s) the right to substitute a similar prize of equal or greater value at its sole discretion.  All taxes and all other expenses, costs or fees associated with the acceptance and/or use of any prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. This prize cannot be transferred by Winner or redeemed for cash and is valid only for the services detailed above, with no substitution of prize by Winner.  Limit one prize per family or household. In the event this contest is terminated before all prizes are awarded or if any prize is forfeited or unclaimed, Sponsor will randomly select from remaining eligible entries an alternate winner for all remaining prize elements. In the event that any prize component is unavailable for any reason, the remaining elements of the Prize shall constitute full satisfaction of Sponsor’s obligation to winner and no additional compensation will be awarded.

7. GENERAL CONDITIONS:                        

Prize Winner and Winner’s travel companion must sign and return aDeclaration of Eligibility, Acceptance of Conditions and Publicity/Liability Release, before accepting the Prize, or the Prize may be forfeited and alternate Winner selected. By accepting the Prize, winners release and discharge NBC, TODAY, MSNBC, NBC's affiliated TV stations and Web sites and the sponsor of the Contest and their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, and all their respective employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents from any liability or damage due in whole or in part to the award, acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize or from participation in this Contest.

Winner and Winner’s travel companion agree to do nothing that would be an embarrassment to NBC News or TODAY during the trip. TODAY reserves the right to intervene if Winner or travel companion is deemed by TODAY to be intoxicated, behaving inappropriately or in violation of any law and/or to cancel his or her appearance on TODAY, if any.

Winner and travel companion may not wear apparel that contains recognizable commercial logos during their appearances on TODAY, if any. Winner and travel companions’ on-air wardrobes, if any, are subject to TODAY’s approval in its sole discretion. 

This Contest is governed by these Official Rules. Each entrant warrants that he or she has read, and agrees to abide and be bound by, all Contest rules and that he or she is not prohibited from participating in this Contest by any applicable law, statute, regulation or other appropriate authority.

By submitting a complete entry form, the Winner, except where prohibited, grant NBC, MSNBC, TODAY and NBC's affiliated TV stations and Web sites and the sponsor of the Game and their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies and all their respective employees, officers, director and representatives the right to use the winner's appearance on the TODAY show, if any, name, likeness, picture, portrait, hometown, voice, biographical information and written submissions and written or oral statements, for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless required by law.

This Contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. By submitting an entry, entrants agree that all entries become the property of NBC and MSNBC and that NBC and MSNBC may use the entries for all purposes, including reproduction, broadcast and display on the Internet and in all media, including all forms of television, and for advertising and promotion without additional compensation unless required by law, and that you will have no recourse against NBC, MSNBC and NBC's affiliated TV stations and Web sites or the sponsor of this Contest or their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries and their respective employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents for any alleged or actual infringement or misappropriation of any proprietary rights in the entry.


For the Grand Prize Winner’s name, visit after December 15, 2005.