Hidden Gems Sweepstakes Rules

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Official Hidden Gems 2015 Sweepstakes Rules



  1. PROMOTION DESCRIPTION. The "Hidden Gems Sweepstakes" ("Sweepstakes") consists of a series of seven (7) sweepstakes in the fifty (50) United States, District of Columbia ("DC"), Guam and Saipan (void in Puerto Rico) and Canada (void in Quebec) (collectively the "Territory") that begins at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time ("EDT") on June 8th, 2015, and ends on June 30th, 2015 at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT (the "Play Period"). Void where prohibited. The Sweepstakes is governed by these Official Rules.The "Sweepstakes Computer" is the official timekeeping device for the Sweepstakes. Except as otherwise specifically stated in these Official Rules, all times mentioned in these Official Rules are Eastern Time ("ET"). Whether that time is Eastern Daylight Savings Time or Eastern Standard Time will depend on any applicable "time change" dates that occur during the Sweepstakes. A day is the 24-hour period beginning at 12:00:00 a.m. and ending that same day the following 11:59:59 p.m. (a "Day").
  2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PLAY/TO WIN.A. Eligibility: The Sweepstakes is open only to individuals who are residents of the Territory and who are eighteen (18) years of age or older on the day of Entry (see Rule 3A). Persons in any of the following categories are NOT eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes: any person who on or after May 31, 2015 was or is (a) an owner, or a director, officer, employee, agent, or independent contractor of Sponsor or its subsidiaries, affiliated companies or service agencies; (b) a director, officer, employee, agent or independent contractor of any entity engaged in the development, production or distribution of Sweepstakes materials, or of any entities retained by Sponsor (see Rule 2B) or its agencies to assist in any way with the administration or advertisement of the Sweepstakes; (c) a director, member, manager or officer of Microsoft Corporation or a director, member, manager or officer of Microsoft Corporation's subsidiaries, or affiliated companies; and (d) an immediate family member (defined as spouse, IRS-dependent, or biological, foster, in-law, adoptive or step-mother, father, sister, brother, daughter or son) of, or who reside in the same household as, any person in any of the preceding categories.B. Agreement To Official Rules: The Sweepstakes is conducted in the Territory by Windows Central (the "Sponsor"), and each person who enters the Sweepstakes (each a "Participant"), unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding with respect to all aspects of the Sweepstakes in the Territory.C. To Be Eligible To Win: Winning any prize requires that the potential winner of the prize is, and remains, in compliance with these Official Rules. Until a potential winner is verified to be eligible and in compliance with these Official Rules, the potential winner is, and will remain, a potential prize winner, unless the potential winner is disqualified for not complying with the Official Rules and/or not being eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes (see Rule 8 "Verification"). Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any potential winner who Sponsor, in its sole discretion, determines is not permitted by law to receive a prize. Sponsor reserves the right to refrain from conducting any advertising or publicity associated with a winner for any reason.D. Participants With Disabilities: If you have a disability that you believe prevents you from participating in the Sweepstakes, or need assistance in redeeming a prize, contact 1-866-904-5882 for assistance.
  3. HOW TO PLAY.A. Sweepstakes Entry: The Sponsor will periodically publish an online article marked Hidden Gems on www.windowscentral.com during the Play Period, beginning on June 8th, 2015. There is one way to enter each sweepstake in the series: 1) Leave a Comment to Article – To participate in a sweepstake by leaving a comment to an article, an individual who is a resident of the Territory and who is eighteen (18) years of age or older must log in to www.windowscentral.com (membership is free, valid email address is required), go to the Hidden Gems article, and leave a comment on that page.B. Entry Limit: There is a limit of one (1) Entry per Participant per each sweepstake associated with each of the seven (7) Hidden Gems articles. Each Hidden Gems article is discrete chance to win prizes, and is in itself a sweepstake in the series of sweepstakes. Any Participant who attempts to secure more than ten (10) Entry per Hidden Gems article by creating multiple user accounts, or who uses any device or artifice to circumvent these Official Rules, will be disqualified and any potential winnings will be forfeited, and any such person, without notification, may be prevented from winning prizes. Use of any automated, script, macro, robotic or other program(s) to enter or otherwise participate in this Contest is prohibited and will automatically result in disqualification from the Contest. Though a Participant may leave more than one comment to an article, only the first comment posted will count as a sweepstake Entry.C. Sweepstakes: Participants in the Sweepstakes will need Internet access, a valid email account, and Windows Central account to play the Sweepstakes.E. Sweepstakes: Each valid Entry will provide you with one (1) Sweepstakes entry for the chance to win a prize for that sweepstakes in the series. Prizes will be awarded for each sweepstake for each of the seven (7) Hidden Gems articles published during the Play Period. Participants may enter each of the seven (7) sweepstakes for each Hidden Gems article published.F. Sweepstakes Drawing: On or about July 15, 2015, potential winners will be selected in a random selection from among all eligible entries received for each of the seven (7) sweepstakes for the seven (7) corresponding Hidden Gems articles published during the Play Period. The potential winners will be contacted by telephone and/or email and/or a traceable method of mail within two (2) business Days after the random selection, and the potential winners will be required to complete and return all required Prize Claim Documents within five (5) business Days, or said potential winner may be disqualified, forfeit the prize, and an alternate winner will be selected (see Rule 7A).
  4. SWEEPSTAKES PRIZES/ODDS/DETAILS. The odds of winning a prize in the Sweepstakes will be determined by the actual number of Entries received and recorded for each of the seven (7) Hidden Gems articles published during the Play Period. Sweepstakes prizes are available to be won for each of the seven (7) Hidden Gems articles published during the Play Period. Winning any prize in the Sweepstakes will be determined by random selection.**A. Sweepstakes Prizes: Prizes will be awarded for each sweepstake corresponding to each of the seven (7) Hidden Gems articles published during the Play Period. No prize awarded will have a value less than $99.00 or greater than $499.00. Upcoming prizes for each sweepstakes in the series will be posted on the Hidden Gems Sweepstakes page at www.windowscentral.com upon opening of play for each Hidden Gems article. Check the Hidden Gems Sweepstakes page at www.windowscentral.com each day during the Play Period for the prizes available for the next sweepstake in the series.
  5. PRIZE CLAIM REQUIREMENTS.A. Prize Claim Deadlines: All Prize Claim Documents must be completed in full and returned for receipt by the Sponsor no later than July 31, 2015. Receipt after that date will invalidate the prize claim and cause the prize to be forfeited. (For prize expiration dates, see Rule 6.)B. Prize Claim Limitations: All prize claimants must be at least the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence.C. Claiming A Sweepstakes Prize: Any prize in the Sweepstakes can be claimed by following instructions in the prize confirmation notification which will be sent to each winning Participant. Sponsor is not responsible if potential winner does not receive his or her Sweepstakes prize confirmation notice is misdirected or not received for any reason.
  6. PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS/CLAIM DETAILS/DEADLINES/RESTRICTIONS. Complete details regarding prizes, claims, deadlines and restrictions for each prize will be posted on the Hidden Gems Sweepstakes page at www.windowscentral.com upon commencement of the Play Period.
  7. GENERAL PRIZE RESTRICTIONS:A. PRIZES NOT CLAIMED OR THAT ARE FORFEITED WILL BE AWARDED TO AN ALTERNATE WINNER. No cash alternative or substitution of any prize will be provided (other than as may be expressly provided in the prize descriptions above), except Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to duly substitute a prize of equal or greater value if any prize cannot be awarded as described due to unavailability for any reason. Prizes will be delivered only to an address in the Territory stated in the claim information completed by winner. All income taxes (including, without limitation, federal, state, and/or local income taxes) on or connected with any prize, and the reporting consequences thereof, are solely the responsibility of respective winners. A Federal Form 1099 will be issued for any prize valued at $600 or more, if any, for the tax year the prize is received, or if a trip prize, for the tax year that a winner travels. If required by law, Sponsor reserves the right to withhold and remit to the appropriate taxing authorities the amount of any taxes due. Expenses not stated for any prize are the sole responsibility of the winner. If a potential winner cannot accept a prize as stated, that prize will be forfeited in its entirety and awarded to an alternate winner.B. Conditions of Prize Claim Submissions: All Prize Claim Documents received after the applicable redemption deadlines shall be deemed VOID and will be ineligible for prizes. Prize Claim Documents that are complete and duly submitted to the Redemption Center within the applicable redemption period will be verified within six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the Prize Claim Documents are received, or as soon thereafter as reasonably practical, and once verified, prize winners may either be notified with prize delivery information or the prize will ship directly to the winner. If any potential prize winner fails or refuses to properly sign and return all Prize Claim Documents by the redemption deadline, or if the Prize Claim Documents or a prize is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to any potential winner, such potential prize winner will be disqualified and/or otherwise forfeit their prize. If a prize winner makes any false statement in any Prize Claim Document or if it is discovered that a winner has registered for the Sweepstakes using more than one (1) Windows Central account, the winner will be required to promptly return to Sponsor upon demand their prize(s) or, at Sponsor's option, the cash equivalent of the prize(s) based on the ARV or cash value for prizes published in Rule 4 and Rule 6. The submission of Prize Claim Documents is solely the responsibility of each Participant. If any potential winner declines a prize, is found to be ineligible, or fails to comply with these Official Rules, such potential winner will be disqualified and will forfeit the prize and all rights to the prize they otherwise might have received. Participants must return their completed Prize Claim Documents using the U.S. Postal Service. When sending Prize Claim Documents to the Sponsor's Redemption Center, it is strongly recommended that Participants retain a photocopy of all Prize Claim Documents submitted, and send the submission using Registered, Certified or Express Mail with a receipt of mailing (although proof of mailing does not constitute proof of delivery).
  8. VERIFICATION. Each Participant acknowledges and agrees that the decisions of Sponsor shall be final, binding and conclusive in all matters relating to the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, determinations regarding the validity of Entries and Prize Claim Documents submitted for verification. Any person attempting to forge Prize Claim Documents or defraud Sponsor may be prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted under the law. Entries received shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the Windows Central account associated with the entry. For purposes of these Official Rules "authorized account holder" is defined as the natural person who is assigned to a Windows Central account by Windows Central. Each potential winner may be required to provide Sponsor with proof he/she is the authorized account holder of the Windows Central account associated with a winning entry. If a dispute cannot be resolved to Sponsor's sole satisfaction, the entry will be deemed ineligible.
  9. GENERAL RELEASE AND CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION. Participants assume all risk of loss, damage, destruction, delay and misdirection of Prize Claim Documents and are advised to obtain insurance where appropriate. Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, and all of their respective shareholders, officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees (individually and collectively "Sweepstakes Entities") are not responsible for: (a) incomplete, illegible, misdirected, late, lost, damaged, stolen, non-delivered, or postage-due submissions of Prize Claim Documents or Sweepstakes materials, or any mail; (b) any damage to a Participant or other person's computer system or Digital Device which is caused or occasioned by participating in the Sweepstakes or claiming a Sweepstakes prize; (c) lost, interrupted, inaccessible or unavailable networks, servers, satellites, Internet, Digital Device or Wireless Service Providers, websites, or other connection, availability or accessibility problems arising in connection with or over the course of the Sweepstakes; (d) miscommunications, failed, jumbled, scrambled, delayed, dropped, interrupted, lost, non-delivered or misdirected computer, telephone, Digital Device, email or cable transmissions or hardware or software or program or programming malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (e) any technical malfunctions, failures, or difficulties, printing errors, color discrepancies, clerical, typographical or other error in any Entry, any prize offering announcement or any Prize Claim Documents; (f) any errors or failures of any kind, whether human, mechanical, clerical, electronic, interruption of power, digital or technical in nature, or unauthorized human intervention; (g) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with, or utilized in, the Sweepstakes; or (h) the incorrect or inaccurate capture of information, or the failure to capture or loss of any information. Prize Claim Documents submitted become the sole property of Sponsor and will not be returned. Sponsor shall not be responsible to correspond with Participants. By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Participant hereby releases and agrees to hold the Sweepstakes Entities harmless from and against any and all costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind, including, without limitation, property damage, death and bodily injury (whether due to negligence or otherwise), due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to participation in the Sweepstakes or any Sweepstakes-related and/or travel-related activity, or participation in any prize-related activities, or the receipt, use or misuse of any prize. Participants waive the right to assert as a cost of winning any prize, any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to claim said prize and any liability and publicity which might arise from claiming or seeking to claim said prize. By submitting potential winning Entries and/or Prize Claim Documents, each verified winner hereby agrees and grants Sponsor the right, but not the obligation, to the use of his or her name, voice and likeness, along with his or her address (city and state) and any statements made by or attributed to such winner in any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, without notice, review or approval, in perpetuity and throughout the world for advertising, commercial and promotional purposes in connection with the Sweepstakes and other promotions without further compensation (except where prohibited by law), and releases the Sweepstakes Entities from any liability with respect thereto.
  11. MISCELLANEOUS.A. Disqualification: It is the Participant's sole responsibility to ensure that they have complied in full with all conditions and requirements contained in these Official Rules. If any potential winner is found to be ineligible, or if they have not complied with these Official Rules, or declines a prize for any reason prior to award, such potential winner will be disqualified and the prize forfeited, except that Sponsor will attempt to contact up to three (3) alternates in order to award the Sweepstakes prizes. No mechanically reproduced, illegible, incomplete, forged, software-generated, third party or other automated or robotic entries, in whole or in part, will be accepted. Entries made by any individual or any entity other than the Participant and/or originating by any other mechanism, including but not limited to commercial sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will be declared invalid and disqualified from this Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes, or to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. The Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.B. Force Majeure/Printing and Production Errors: Sponsor reserves the right, without prior notice and at any time, to terminate the Sweepstakes, in whole or in part, or modify, suspend or extend the Sweepstakes or Sweepstakes materials in any way, if it determines in its sole discretion, that an Entry, Sweepstakes materials and/or Prize Claim Documents reflect printing or other errors or if it determines, in its sole discretion, that the Sweepstakes is impaired or corrupted or that fraud or technical problems, failures, malfunctions, or errors (including, without limitation, computer viruses or other deleterious programs or materials, glitches or printing or production errors) have destroyed or severely undermined the proper integrity, and/or feasibility of the Sweepstakes. In the event Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Sweepstakes as contemplated herein by any event beyond its control, including but not limited to fire, flood, natural or man-made health epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared) or any federal, state, provincial or local government law, order, or regulation, public health crisis, order of any court or jurisdiction, or other cause not reasonably within Sponsor's control, then subject to any governmental approval which may be required, Sponsor shall have the right to modify, suspend, extend or terminate the Sweepstakes. Only the type and quantity of prizes described in these Official Rules will be awarded. The sole responsibility and liability for any invalid or irregular Entry is replacement with another randomly selected Entry as solely determined by Sponsor. Replacement shall be the sole and exclusive remedy under such circumstances. If, due to printing, digital, computer programming, hardware or software, or production errors or for any reason, more potential winners in any prize category come forward seeking to claim prizes in excess of the number of each type of prize as set forth in these Official Rules, the winners, or remaining winners, as the case may be, of the advertised number of prizes available in the prize category in question may be selected in a random drawing from among all persons making purportedly valid claims for such prize(s) in that prize category. Inclusion in such drawing shall be each Participant's sole and exclusive remedy under such circumstances.C. Invalidity: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein. Headings and captions are used in these Official Rules solely for ease of reference, and shall not be deemed to affect in any manner the meaning or intent of these Official Rules or any provision hereof. These Official Rules cannot be modified or amended in any way except in writing by a duly authorized representative of Sponsor.D. Governing Law: In the Territory, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations as between Participant and the Sweepstakes Entities in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of Florida including procedural provisions without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other state's or jurisdiction's laws.
  12. ARBITRATION. By participating in this Sweepstakes, each Participant agrees that: (1) any claim, dispute, or controversy (whether in contract, tort, or otherwise) Participant may have against any of the Sweepstakes Entities arising out of, relating to, or connected in any way with the Sweepstakes, the awarding or redemption of prizes, or the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, will be resolved exclusively by final and binding arbitration administered by American Arbitration Association ("AAA") and conducted before a sole arbitrator pursuant to the applicable Rules and Procedures established by AAA ("Rules and Procedures"); (2) this arbitration agreement is made pursuant to a transaction involving interstate commerce, and shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16; (3) the arbitration shall be held exclusively in Miami, Florida at a location determined by AAA,; (4) the arbitrator's decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and any of the other agreements referenced herein that the Participant may have entered into in connection with the Sweepstakes; (5) the arbitrator shall apply Florida law consistent with the FAA and applicable statutes of limitations, and shall honor claims of privilege recognized at law; (6) there shall be no authority for any claims to be arbitrated on a class or representative basis as Participant and Sponsor hereby waive the right to assert claims in any class or representative action; arbitration can thus decide only the Participant's and/or Sponsor's individual claims; the arbitrator may not consolidate or join the claims of other persons or parties who may be similarly situated; (7) to the extent permitted by law, the arbitrator shall not have the power to award punitive, incidental or consequential damages against the Participant or Sponsor; (8) in the event that the administrative fees and deposits that must be paid to initiate arbitration against Sponsor exceed $125 USD for claims less than $10,000 or $375 for claims greater than $10,000 but less than $75,000, and the Participant is unable (or not required under the applicable Rules and Procedures) to pay any fees and deposits that exceed this amount, Sponsor agrees to pay them and/or forward them on the Participant's behalf, subject to ultimate allocation by the arbitrator. In addition, if the Participant is able to demonstrate that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of litigation, Sponsor will pay as much of the Participant's filing and hearing fees in connection with the arbitration as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive; and (9) with the exception of subpart (6) above, if any part of this arbitration provision is deemed to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, or otherwise conflicts with the Rules and Procedures established by AAA, then the balance of this arbitration provision shall remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with its terms as if the invalid, unenforceable, illegal or conflicting provision were not contained herein. If, however, subpart (6) is found to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal, then the entirety of this Arbitration Provision shall be null and void, and neither Sponsor nor Participant shall be entitled to arbitrate their dispute. For more information on AAA and/or AAA Rules and Procedures, Participants may visit the AAA Website at http://www.adr.org.
  13. OFFICIAL RULES. These Official Rules will be posted online at www.windowscentral.com. To receive a copy of the Official Rules, mail a SASE to Redemption Center: 3151 E. Thomas St., Inverness, FL 34453. All requests must be postmarked by June 15th, 2015 and received by June 30th, 2015. Vermont residents with a return address located in Vermont may omit return postage. Limit one (1) request per outer envelope.
  14. WINNERS LIST. An Official Winners list ("List") will be posted on Hidden Gems Sweepstakes page at <www.windowscentral.com> within ten (10) business days of awarding the prizes. For a List by mail, mail a #10 SASE to Redemption Center: 3151 E. Thomas St., Inverness, FL 34453. All requests must be postmarked by August 1, 2015 and received by August 31, 2015. Limit one (1) request per outer envelope. The List will be available no sooner than July 31, 2015 and will be sent when the Sweepstakes is officially over and the prizes have been verified and awarded.
  15. SPONSOR. This Sweepstakes is sponsored by Windows Central, a registered trade name of Axel Ltd, Co., a Florida limited liability company with a registered address of 3151 E. Thomas St., Inverness, FL 34453. By entering this Sweepstakes, all Participants agree to, and do, waive any and all claims they may have, or may in the future ever have, with regard to this Sweepstakes, whether arising under any statute or regulation, in contract, tort, strict liability, or under any other theory of liability whatsoever.
Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.