Harry Potter Competition: Celebrating 15 Years of Harry Potter Magic (subtitled The Search for UK and Ireland's Biggest Harry Potter Fan) is a Harry Potter competition sponsored by U.K. Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury Publishing. It is an essay competition, requiring entrants to write an essay of no more than 50 words explaining why they believe themselves to be the biggest Harry Potter fan. Entries may be accompanied by doodles or illustrations. The contest began on 26 June 2012 and ran through 31 July (Harry Potter's birthday.)
The competition is part of a celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the first publishing of the original Harry Potter title, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The celebration also includes an official poster and a video commemorating fifteen years of the series.
Entries to the competition could only be made at participating bookshops and libraries in the U.K. and Ireland, with over 1,800 participating locations. Entrants were required to use an entry form provided through the official website, but were not obligated to do so, so long as their entries included the required contact information, which does not count against the 50 word limit. The competition was open to individuals of all ages, though those under 16 were required to provide the name of a parent or guardian as a contact. Only one entry per person was permitted.
Winner Selection and Prizes
The grand prize is a six day, five night family holiday for the winner and up to three guests to the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Expenses for round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and tickets to a performance by the Blue Man Group are provided. The winner also received a leather-bound, numbered edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, signed and dedicated by author J. K. Rowling. Fourteen runner-ups received these editions, which were made available only through the contest. The entries were judged by Bloomsbury in association with Rowling's office. The winner and runners-up were announced on 1 September, 2012.
The winner was revealed to be Alissa Howard, a 17-year-old from Somerset. Howard stated of her win "I was quite surprised to hear that I had won, and now I just can't believe it. It'll take time for it to sink in but I am really happy to have been chosen as the winner." Over 6,000 entries were received for the contest.
Official Announcement (Excerpt)
ARE YOU THE BIGGEST HARRY POTTER FAN?
ENTER THE SEARCH TO FIND OUT
To enter write in no more than 50 words why you love HARRY POTTER, and post your letter in the special postbox provided in your local bookshop or library.
We are looking for the most creative, clever and entertaining reasons and, while the word limit it set to a strict 50 words, please do draw, doodle or illustrate your letters if you wish.
The search to find the UK and Ireland’s biggest HARRY POTTER fan celebrates the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. J. K. Rowling’s first book in the HARRY POTTER series was released on 26th June 1997 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.