IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Rules for our Hardball ‘Hot Seat’ contest

/ Source:

Look below for the general mechanics and rules of the Hardball ‘Hot Seat.’ Can you take the heat?


One minute and thirty seconds will be put up on the clock.

The clock will begin at the end of Chris asking the first question.

Participant will have the opportunity to answer as many as 50 questions.

If participant does not know the answer to a question, they may ask to pass.

Participant may not go back to any “passed” questions, even if there is time left on the clock at the end of 50 questions.

Chris must accept participant’s first answer.

Chris will ask participant to be more specific if the answer requires a first name or more information to be the only correct answer.

If ending bell goes off while contestant is answering a question, participant is allowed to complete their answer

If ending bell goes off while Chris Matthews is asking a question, game is over


D8 9.17.02



HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: A “HARDBALL HOT SEAT” event (“Event”) will take place at participating colleges and universities in the U.S., beginning on or about 9/18/02 and continuing through 4/30/03, (see your school for details and to check if your school is participating). Each participating college and university will select one undergraduate student to participate (“Participant”) in a 50-question trivia game (“Trivia Game”) which may be taped during the Event for airing on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Each Participant at each school or university will have one (1) minute and thirty (30) seconds to answer up to fifty (50) trivia questions provided. At the conclusion of all the Events (currently estimated at 29 total), on or about 4/30/03, the top ten scoring participants (the ten (10) Participants out of the approximate 29 Participants who answer the most questions correctly in one (1) minute and thirty (30) seconds) (the “Finalists”) will proceed to the Final Challenge, as defined below. In the event of a tie prior to the Final Challenge, all tied Participants will participate in another timed trivia challenge via phone to determine the ten (10) Finalists. Please note that prior to participating in the Trivia Game, each Participant will be required to provide his/her contact information, including name, address, and telephone number and must also sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability/Publicity Release.

FINAL CHALLENGE: The ten (10) Finalists will personally appear and participate in a final, trivia challenge on Hardball with Chris Matthews, on or about 6/4/03. The Finalist who answers the most questions correctly in one (1) minute and thirty (30) seconds will be the Grand Prize Winner. Only those Finalists in attendance will be able to participate in the Final Challenge on Hardball with Chris Matthews and be considered for the Grand Prize, even if less than ten (10) Finalists appear. Any Finalist that does not appear will thereby forfeit his/her opportunity to participate in the Final Challenge and to win the Grand Prize. In the event of a tie during the Final Challenge, the tied Finalists will participate in a trivia question playoff to determine one (1) final Grand Prize winner.

PRIZES AND APPROX. RETAIL VALUES: The Grand Prize winner will receive: A $10,000 grant for the winner and the Grand Prize Winner’s school will receive a $5,000 grant (grants will be issued in the form of checks). (ARV: $15,000). The Ten (10) Finalists will receive: A 3-day/2-night trip for two (2) to Washington, DC, for the Finalist to appear on Hardball with Chris Matthews and participate in the Final Challenge. Trip includes round-trip coach air transportation from a major airport nearest the winner’s residence (to be determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion), hotel accommodations (standard room/double occupancy), $200 cash, a pair of tickets to Hardball with Chris Matthews (one (1) for the Finalist and one (1) for his/her guest) and an MSNBC participation gift (Total ARV: $2,899 each Finalist). Prizes are non-transferable. No cash redemptions or prize substitutions allowed except at Sponsor’s 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/finalist. Limit one prize per family or household. Certain blackout periods and travel restrictions may apply. Airline carrier’s regulations and conditions apply. Travel and hotel arrangements to be determined by Sponsor. Sponsor in its sole discretion, reserves the right to provide ground transportation in lieu of air transportation. Finalists chosen to participate in the Final Challenge must take the trip on the dates and times designated by Sponsor or their prize will be forfeited in its entirety.

GENERAL RULES: Potential finalists will be notified by phone/mail on or about 5/5/03. Finalists will be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity release (where legal) within 4 days of notification attempt or the prize may be forfeited.

Finalist and travel companion, if any, must travel on the same itinerary and Finalists’ travel companions, if any, must complete a liability and publicity release which must be returned with Finalist’s affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release, or the prize will be forfeited. If Finalist resides in a state that deems him/her a minor, Finalist’s travel companion, if any, must be his/her parent/legal guardian. Winner and travel companion must have valid travel documents (i.e., valid photo ID) prior to departure. Dates of departure and return are subject to change.

DISCLAIMER: Participants assume all liability for any injury or damages caused or claimed to be caused by his or her participation in the contest and/or the acceptance and/or use of any prize, and release MSNBC, NBC Cable Networks, General Electric, Microsoft, and their officers, directors, and employees, from any such liability. Participation constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use Finalists’ names, addresses (city and state), likenesses and/or voices for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation. By participating, entrants agree to waive any right to claim any ambiguity or error in these Official Rules, the trivia questions (including without limitation any element thereof such as degree of difficulty or length), or the promotion itself, and agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by all decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, whose decisions are binding and final. Sponsor is not responsible for the selection of the Participants and entrants waive any claim relating to their university/college selection of its participant. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel the Contest at any time, at its sole discretion. In the event the Final Challenge is canceled for reasons beyond Sponsor’s control, the Finalists will receive the trip without the appearance/tickets to Hardball with Chris Matthews and the Grand Prize will not be awarded. In such a case, the trip will constitute full satisfaction of Sponsor’s prize obligation to the Finalists. By participating in this Contest, participants accept and agree to be bound by these official rules and the decisions of the judges. Non-compliance with these official rules may result in disqualification. All applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Finalists and the Grand Prize Winner (or finalists’/winner’s parents or legal guardians if finalist/winner is a minor in his/her state of residence) is responsible for all federal, state and local taxes. Finalists and the Grand Prize Winner will be issued a 1099 tax form for the value of their prizes. Some Events at certain colleges may be cancelled due to circumstances beyond Sponsor’s control and Sponsors will not be responsible for any such cancellation(s). Sponsors are also under no obligation to air any or all of the taped Events on MSNBC.

ELIGIBILITY: Contest is open to legal residents of the United States, except Puerto Rico, who are 18 years of age or older and enrolled as an undergraduate in a participating U.S. college or university as of 9/18/02. Employees of MSNBC, NBC Cable Networks, General Electric, Microsoft, The GEM Group (“Contest Entities”) and their advertising/promotion agencies, affiliates and subsidiaries, and the immediate families of the above (spouses, children, parents, siblings and their spouses) and members of their households are ineligible to participate in the contest. Contest void wherever prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.

WINNERS: For the names of the Finalists and the Grand Prize winner, available after 6/20/03, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope by 7/4/03, to: MSNBC “Hardball hot SEAT”, c/o The GEM Group, 373 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Finalists’ names will also be posted on the MSNBC web site.

SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this promotion is MSNBC, One MSNBC Plaza, Secaucus, NJ 07094.

©2002 NBC Cable, Inc. All rights reserved.