Winners Announced in 1998 Windows World Open Custom Application Development Contest

In the final round of the Awesome Microsoft® ActiMates
Tongue Twist-Off in New York City this morning, a six-year-old from Phoenix was named the nation’s top tongue-twisting kid, culminating a contest that has had children’s tongues tied up from coast to coast for the past month.

Amanda Lucia talked her way into tongue-twisting history by rapidly repeating
“double bubble gum bubbles double”
more times in 25 seconds without faltering than any other participant. She and eight other children ages 6 to 8 advanced to today’s event after successfully flexing their tongue-twisting muscles in radio station contests held in 10 cities during October: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The contests elicited hundreds of listener calls and filled the airwaves with such nonsensical phrases as
“groovy gravy baby,” “old owls eat oily oysters,”
“Buster Baxter bakes blueberry brownies.”

Today’s event was hosted by entertainer Deborah Gibson and held at Caroline’s Comedy Nation in New York. To ensure that the children were in top tongue-twisting form, before the contest Gibson led them through a series of amusing tongue calisthenics that involved mouth-stretching exercises, tongue wagging and tongue rolling. By the time the kids took their turns at the microphone, they were completely loosened up and ready to twist.

After the last child tongue-twisted, Gibson turned to the official judging committee, which included Marc Brown, the author and illustrator of the phenomenally popular Arthur® book and PBS television series and asked for the judges’ decision. A few anxious moments later, they handed Gibson the envelope and she announced the winner.

As the national tongue-twisting champion, Lucia received a new laptop computer loaded with Microsoft Arthur software. The other eight participants received ActiMates interactive toys (Interactive Arthur and Interactive D.W.
) and software, as well as gift certificates to Toys

“We could not have been happier with the response of parents and children to the Awesome Microsoft ActiMates Tongue Twist-Off,”
said Christine Winkel, product manager for ActiMates at Microsoft Corp.
“ActiMates Arthur and ActiMates D.W. really encourage children to have fun with language and to enjoy learning. Over the past five weeks, hundreds of children have taken this message to heart.”

The Awesome Microsoft ActiMates Tongue Twist-Off marks the retail availability of Microsoft ActiMates Interactive Arthur and ActiMates Interactive D.W. – the newest characters in the revolutionary Microsoft line of smart toys – and three new software titles. Designed for children ages 4 to 8, ActiMates Arthur and ActiMates D.W. feature technological advancements and fun functions to help children learn. These include a 4,000 word vocabulary, specially encoded videotapes and original CD-ROM software.

Available now through leading toy, mass merchant, consumer electronics and computer

stores, the plush characters have an approximate retail price of $84.95 (U.S.). TV Packs and PC packs for ActiMates have an approximate retail price of $54.95. The approximate retail price for additional PC software titles is $34.95.

Microsoft developed ActiMates Interactive Arthur and ActiMates Interactive D.W.

under license from Marc Brown.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and

personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.


Microsoft and ActiMates are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Arthur and D.W. are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Marc Brown.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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