Encarta Challenge 2001 Rewards Teens Who Discover the Right Answers

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 6, 2001 — It’s time for students to put on their thinking caps … and enter the Microsoft® Encarta® Challenge 2001. Students around the country between the ages of 13 and 18 can register at http://www.encartachallenge.com/ to play Microsoft Corp.’s online research skills tournament. The winner will be awarded $50,000 cash for college, a 2002 Ford Focus ZX3, a Gateway computer and more. Plus, the top 50 participants will receive cash for college and other great prizes.

Between work, social obligations and extracurricular activities, today’s teens have to try harder to get ahead in the classroom. The Encarta Challenge, now in its second year, rewards students for locating, analyzing and using pertinent information — a skill that will be valuable throughout their lives.

“With so much information available to teens today, being able to find the right answers is a necessary skill,”
said Sally Katovsich, marketing manager for Encarta Brands at Microsoft.
“The Encarta Challenge and the new Encarta Reference Library 2002 make research easier by providing up-to-date articles, engaging videos and illustrations on topics teens really need to know about.”

How It Works

The Encarta Challenge asks questions such as,
“In what country can you find Macgillicuddy’s Reeks?”
“How long do patents last in the United States?”
to encourage and reward teens for their research abilities. Players can find the answers to each question at http://encarta.msn.com/ or other reference resources. Encarta Reference Library 2002 aids teens in research on any subject through up-to-date multimedia information, including thousands of articles, photos, illustrations and videos.

Open registration for the Encarta Challenge began Aug. 1. The first round of the Encarta Challenge officially begins on Sept. 1 and can be played any time until Sept. 9, when open registration closes. To advance to the second round, participants must research and answer all five first-round questions correctly in the allotted amount of time. From there, students will advance through five additional timed rounds, culminating in a playoff round that will take place Oct. 15-21. All rounds of questions are single-elimination.

During the open registration period, daily prizes will be given away based on a random drawing. In addition to other prizes, 30 runners-up will receive $100 cash. Four runners-up will each receive $5,000, and as a reward for making the playoffs, 15 semifinalists will receive $500 cash. Other prizes to be awarded include Motorola T900 two-way pagers (including three months of service, courtesy of WebLink Wireless), Samsung Yepp digital music players (the world’s smallest digital music player), and a Microsoft Digital Dream Package of Microsoft hardware and software with an estimated retail value of $200. (See http://www.encartachallenge.com/prizes.asp for actual prize lists.)

Encarta Challenge Coming to a Mall Nearby

Teens in 10 cities across the United States will get a chance to register and
“test drive”
the Encarta Challenge 2001 as part of the Teen People Rock ‘N Shop tour. The tour also brings hot, new R & B/pop group LMNT to the following malls: the Northridge Fashion Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 2, Alderwood Mall in Seattle on Aug. 4, Spring Hill Mall in Chicago on Aug. 9, Summit Place Mall in Detroit on Aug. 11, Stonebriar Center in Dallas on Aug. 16, West Oaks Mall in Dallas on Aug. 18, Cumberland Mall in Atlanta on Aug. 23, Neshaminy Mall in Philadelphia on Aug. 25, Galleria at White Plains in New York on Aug. 30 and Silver City Galleria in Boston on Sept. 6.

The Finals

LMNT will also perform at the Encarta Challenge 2001 finals being held Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the
“Good Morning America”
studios in New York City. The five finalists advancing from the playoffs will enjoy an inclusive trip for two* to New York City for a face-to-face final event hosted by Ben Stein, comedian, writer and host of Comedy Central’s
“Win Ben Stein’s Money.”

The player with the strongest research skills will win a $50,000 college scholarship, a 2002 Ford Focus ZX3 and a Gateway computer. Four runners-up will receive $5,000 cash for college and a Microsoft Dream Package of hardware and software.

A trusted resource since its debut in 1993, Microsoft Encarta, the best-selling encyclopedia brand in the United States, provides all the information families need, all in one place, by combining leading multimedia reference titles and the best of the Internet to provide a fully integrated, complete reference resource. Encarta Reference Library 2002 contains content from Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe, Encarta Dictionary and Thesaurus, Encarta Interactive World Atlas, and Encarta Africana. In addition, free* access to Encarta Online Deluxe will be available for Encarta Reference Library users through Oct. 31, 2001.** Encarta Reference Library is available for an estimated retail price of $74.95.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Winners under 18 years of age are required to travel with a legal guardian.

** Requires an Internet connection. You must be online to use FactFinder, Real-Time Media, live news from MSNBC, Encarta Online Deluxe and Update Encarta (available July 2001-October 2002). Encarta Online Deluxe and content updates are available only through Club Encarta membership. Club Encarta members receive a one-year subscription to Encarta Online Deluxe. Club Encarta is restricted to persons 13 years of age and older. A Microsoft Passport account is required to access Encarta Online Deluxe. Online product registration is required for specific features. Access to and use of the Internet may require payment of a separate fee to an Internet service provider. Local and long-distance telephone toll charges may vary. Offer is valid in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada only.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

For more information on Encarta:

Reviewers guides and additional press information are available at a password-protected area of the Web site, http://www.microsoft.com/encarta/ .

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

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