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Securing The Future Contest

HOT 97 Securing The Future

Enter The Securing The Future Contest!

Understanding the economic pressures some schools are experiencing during this time, HOT 97 is giving New York Public Teachers a chance to win $1,000 for supplies for your classroom! Complete the information below!




MediaCo Holding Inc. d/b/a WQHT (FM) and/or HOT 97 (“MediaCo” or “HOT 97”) is giving New York City Public School teachers a chance to win One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for their classroom in the HOT 97 “Securing the Future” Contest (the “Contest”). This Contest is governed by these Rules, as well as by MediaCo’s Official General Contest Rules (“General Rules”). In the event there is a discrepancy or inconsistency between these Rules and the General Rules, these Rules shall govern. Any individual who enters, attempts to enter or in any way participates or attempts to participate in the Contest, along with the individual school that such individual represents (each a “Participant”) agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions provided in these Rules and to the extent applicable the General Rules, as well as by all interpretations of these Rules by MediaCo and by all other decisions of MediaCo which are final and binding in all matters relating to the Contest.


No purchase is necessary to enter or win a prize. A purchase will not improve your chances of winning. 


All Contests are subject to and governed by applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Participation in this Contest is void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law.


The sponsor of the contest is MediaCo (a “Sponsor”).  


Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest if it is not capable of being completed as planned for any reason, including, but not limited to, infection by computer virus, “bugs”, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, or technical failures of any kind or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of any such Contest. The decision of any Sponsor to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend any Contest shall be final in all respects.


Geographical, Age and Parental Consent Requirements: The Contest is open to teachers that are employed by a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public school.  Each teacher who enters the Contest on behalf of their classroom must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry. Participants must have either a valid New York State teacher certification or completed an alternative certification program prior to entry.  Sponsor reserves the right to refuse to award a prize to or on behalf of a minor. 

Contest Entity and Immediate Family Member Ineligibility: The officers, directors, employees, contractors, and agents of MediaCo, its parent companies, any other Sponsor(s) and any entity involved in the sponsorship, development, production, implementation and distribution of any Contest as well as their respective parents, affiliates, divisions, subsidiaries and successor companies (collectively the “Contest Entities”), and their immediate family members (and those living in the same household, whether or not related), are prohibited from participating in any Contest and do not qualify as Participants. “Immediate family members” shall include spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption, co-habitation or other familial extension.

Past Prize Winners: Participants (including individual schools) who have won a HOT 97 Contest in the last thirty (30) days or who have won prizes valued over $600 in the last twelve (12) months are ineligible.

Employer Restrictions:  Participant is solely responsible for reviewing and understanding Participant’s employer’s policies regarding Participant’s eligibility to participate in contests.  Participant may be disqualified from entering into this Contest or receiving prizes if Participant is participating in this Contest in violation of his or her employer’s policies. 


The Contest entry period begins on Monday November 15th, 2021 at approximately 10:00 AM ET and ends on March 21, 2022 at 11:59PM ET (the “Entry Period”).  Eligible Participants can enter in the following way:

Via the Internet:

During the Entry Period, any New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public school teacher, can submit a letter about that teacher’s classroom’s need for financial help, including how the teacher would use the prize money to benefit the school and students (the “Submission”). The Submission letter should be no more than five hundred (500) words in length.  Participants can visit and follow the entry instructions regarding how the teacher should submit their Submission letter. Participants may enter the Contest online one (1) time only.

All participants must accurately complete all required fields or entry will be deemed invalid.  In order to participate, you will need Internet access and a valid email address.  Limit one entry per person.

Entries Are the Sole and Exclusive Property of Sponsors: All Contest entries and/or related submissions become the sole and exclusive property of the Sponsors upon transmission. Contest entries will not be returned and may be used by any Contest Entity for any purpose whatsoever related to any Contest, without additional compensation to the participant or any other individual or entity.

Original Content; Ownership:  Each Participant, by participating in the Contest, represents and warrants that they are the exclusive owner of the copyright and all other proprietary rights in their Submission. Participant further represents and warrants that they have the right to grant to any third party the right to use, reproduce, distribute, perform and display the Submission.  All Submissions must have appropriate clearances, permissions and releases PRIOR to uploading or may be eliminated from the Contest. 

False Fraudulent or Deceptive Entries or Acts: Participants who, in the view of Sponsor, provide false, fraudulent or deceptive entries or who engage in false, fraudulent or deceptive acts in connection with the Contest will be disqualified and subject to criminal prosecution.


A Participant who signs up to receive text messages from Sponsor:

  1. authorizes Sponsor to deliver or cause to be delivered, to the wireless number that the Participant provided, telemarketing messages using an automatic telephone dialing system;
  1. understands that he or she is not required to enter into this agreement or agree to enter into such an agreement as a condition of purchasing any property, goods, or services; and
  1. agrees that, if the wireless number provided to Sponsor is reassigned to another person, the Participant will promptly notify Sponsor that such reassignment has occurred.

Message and data rates may apply. Sponsor is not responsible for any fees incurred by a Participant who provides a wireless number in connection with the Contest.


Even if alleged to be caused by the sole or partial negligence of the Sponsor, the Sponsor is not responsible for any problems which affect or result from participation or attempted participation in the Contest, including, but not limited to the following:

  1. Incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate entry information;
  1. Human errors;
  1. Failures, omissions, interruptions, deletions or defects of any wireless network, telephone network, internet service, computer systems, servers, utility providers, or software;
  1. Inability to send a text-message;
  1. Identity theft;
  1. Tampering, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries or computer data;
  1. Network hackers or other unauthorized access to Sponsor’s computer network;
  1. Data that is processed late or incorrectly or is incomplete or lost due to wireless network, telephone network, computer or electronic malfunction or traffic congestion on wireless or telephone networks;
  1. Printing errors;
  1. Equipment malfunctions; and
  1. Late, misdirected, lost, misplaced, illegible, mutilated or postage-due entries.


There will be a maximum of fifteen (15) prize winning Submissions selected from among all eligible Submissions received during the Contest Entry Period.  The exact number of prize winning Submissions will depend on the total number of Submissions received.  Each winner will receive a check in the amount of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00). The maximum aggregate prize value of all prizes that may be awarded in this Contest is Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000).

No transfer, assignment or substitution of a prize is permitted, except Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize for an item of equal or greater value in the event an advertised prize is unavailable.  Any difference between the actual value and the approximate retail value of any prize will not be awarded.  No substitution or cash equivalent will be made.


The Participant prize-winner is solely responsible for determining and paying all federal, state, and local taxes (including any sales taxes). Any person winning over $600 in prizes during anyone-year period will receive an IRS Form 1099 at the end of the calendar year, and a copy of such form will be filed with the IRS.


All eligible entries received during the Entry Period will be judged by a panel of three (3) HOT 97 judges (the “HOT 97 Judges”).  Eligible Submissions will be scored based on the following three (3) criteria categories:

CRITERIA                                                                WEIGHT                   POINTS AVAILABLE

School’s Demonstrated Need for the Funds               33%                                         33

How the Funds Will Impact Students/School             33%                                         33

Persuasiveness of the Submission Letter                   34%                                         34

According to the schedule below, during each of the weeks of the Entry Period that are identified below only, three (3) Submissions receiving the highest overall combined scores that week from all Hot97 Judges will advance to that week’s Final Judging Round.  In the unlikely event of a tie following initial judging by the HOT 97 Judges, a new tie-breaker HOT 97 judge will review the tied Submissions and select one (1) winner of the tie based on the above-referenced criteria.  In that week’s Final Judging Round, Ebro Darden from HOT 97 will select the one (1) winning Submission as that week’s Contest winner from among the three (3) highest scoring Submissions that week.   Eligible non-winning Submissions that are received during the Entry Period will continue to be eligible to be selected as a winning Submission for other weeks during the Entry Period pursuant to the Contest schedule below.  The Contest schedule below identifies the dates on or about which the Sponsor will complete the following: (1) judging of the Submissions, (2) notification to winning schools, and (3) announcement on-air of winning Submissions.

All Judging Completed               Winner Notification       On-Air Announcement

11/17/2021                                 11/18/2021                     11/19/2021

12/1/2021                                  12/2/2021                      12/3/2021

12/8/2021                                  12/9/2021                      12/10/2021

12/15/2021                                 12/16/2021                     12/17/2021

 [Contest resumes in 2022 according to the schedule below.]

1/12/2022                                  1/13/2022                      1/14/2022

1/19/2022                                  1/20/2022                      1/21/2022

1/26/2022                                  1/27/2022                      1/28/2022

2/2/2022                                    2/3/2022                        2/4/2022

2/9/2022                                    2/10/2022                      2/11/2022

2/16/2022                                  2/17/2022                      2/18/2022

2/23/2022                                  2/24/2022                      2/25/2022

3/2/2022                                    3/3/2022                        3/4/2022

3/9/2022                                    3/10/2022                      3/11/2022

3/16/2022                                  3/17/2022                      3/18/2022

3/23/2022                                  3/24/2022                      3/25/2022

Winners will be contacted by Sponsor by email/phone on or about the notification dates listed above.


Claiming the Prize: The Sponsor has the right in its sole discretion to mail the prize to the winner. The winner will initially be sent the required releases and prize claim forms. Winner is required to first sign the required forms and then email a photograph of each signed release and prize claim form to Sponsor at Alternatively, a winner may mail the required forms to HOT 97 at Attn:  HOT 97 “Securing the Future” Contest, 395 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014. Participants acknowledge that any postal service mailing of the release forms to Sponsor may significantly delay the mailing of a prize. Failure by the winner to return completed forms within five (5) business days of receipt of the forms may lead to forfeiture of the prize. Additionally, in the event the prize is mailed to the winner, the winner assumes the risk of the prize’s safe arrival. Sponsor may elect to change the method by which winner claims the prize.  Should Sponsor change the method by which a winner claims the prize, Sponsor shall promptly inform winner of the new prize claim process.

Prerequisites to Prize Award: Prior to being awarded a prize, winners are required to provide: (1) a valid government-issued photo identification depicting proof of age; (2) proof of employment at a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public school; and (3) a valid taxpayer identification number or social security number. The social security number will be used for tax-reporting purposes. Sponsor reserves the right to deny awarding the prize if the winner fails to provide satisfactory identification, as determined in the Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Winners are required to execute certain forms, including but not limited to an Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability, Indemnification and Publicity Release Agreement, and a completed IRS W-9 before any prize is awarded. By entering the Contest, Participant agrees to execute these documents if selected as a winner. Except where prohibited by law, failure to execute any of these documents or comply with any of these terms will result in forfeiture of the prize.  

Prize Forfeiture: Any winner who fails to redeem, claim, or utilize the prize will forfeit the prize. MediaCo reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to award unclaimed prizes to alternate contestants or not to award the unclaimed prizes.

Additional Costs: Any costs relating to the prizes are the sole responsibility of the winner.


By entering and participating in the Contest, and in consideration thereof, each Participant individually warrants and represents to Sponsor that: (i) they meet the residency and age requirements at the time of entry; (ii) they will be bound by these Rules and the General Rules, and by all applicable laws and regulations, and the decisions of the Sponsor; (iii) they waive any rights to claim ambiguity with respect to these Rules and the General Rules; (iv) they are the sole creator and owner of the Submission; (v) they are a current teacher employed by  a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public school; and (vi) the Materials (as hereinafter defined) or any use thereof, shall not violate any law and shall not infringe upon or violate the rights of any person (including, without limitation, contractual rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity and rights of privacy).  “Materials,” as used in this subsection means any and all information and data, including but not limited to the Submission letter, provided to Sponsor in connection with Participant entering the Contest.  Sponsor’s acceptance and/or utilization of the Materials hereunder shall not constitute a waiver of Participant’s representations, warranties or agreements in respect thereof, or a waiver of any of Sponsor’s rights or remedies.


As consideration for entering the Contest, all Participants agree to RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE MediaCo WQHT License LLC, MediaCo Holding Inc, Emmis Radio,  LLC, Emmis Communications Corporation, Emmis Operating Company, Hip Hop Has Heart, Inc. and the other Contest Entities (as described above) and each of their respective direct and indirect affiliates, divisions, parent and subsidiary companies, officers, employees, disc-jockeys, on-air personalities, shareholders, representatives, managers, members, directors, owners, agents, insurers, attorneys, predecessors, successors, and assigns thereof (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from and against all claims, damages, charges, injuries, losses, proceedings, suits, actions (including but not limited to tort actions, product liability actions, wrongful death actions, warranty actions, breach of contract actions, privacy and defamation actions, misappropriation of likeness actions, identity theft, loss of consortium claims), expenses and attorney fees that they or anyone on their behalf (including but not limited to their heirs, representatives or next of kin) have or might have for any death, injury, damage or claimed injury or damage arising out of, involving or relating to their participation in the Contest, including, but not limited to, any claim that the act or omission complained of was caused in whole or in part by the strict liability or negligence in any form of the Released Parties.

Additionally, as consideration for entering the Contest, all Participants agree to INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND DEFEND the Released Parties in any action or proceeding from and against all claims, damages, charges, injuries, losses, proceedings, suits, actions (including but not limited to tort actions, product liability actions, wrongful death actions, warranty actions, breach of contract actions, privacy and defamation actions, misappropriation of likeness actions, identity theft, loss of consortium claims), expenses and attorney fees that they or anyone on their behalf (including but not limited to their heirs, representatives or next of kin) have or might have for any death, injury, damage or claimed injury or damage arising out of, involving or relating to their participation in the Contest or for their failure to comply with the terms of the above release provision.  This agreement to indemnify, hold harmless and defend applies even if the act or omission complained of was allegedly caused in whole or in part by the strict liability or negligence in any form of the Released Parties.

This Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other Social Media Platform.  By submission of an entry, Participant releases Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all Social Media Platforms from any responsibility or liability for the Contest’s administration, prizes or promotion. You are providing entry information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all Social Media Platforms. 


Unless prohibited by applicable law, Participant authorizes and irrevocably grants to MediaCo and the other Released Parties (as defined above) permission to, from time to time, reference and discuss Participant, the Submission, and participation in the Contest on-air and/or on their website(s) in photographs, video recordings, digital images, audio recordings, as well as in publications, newsletters, news releases, other printed materials, and in materials made available on the Internet or in other media now known or hereafter developed for any purpose MediaCo and/or the Released Parties deem proper.  Such reference and discussion may involve Participant’s, including but not limited to the school at which the teacher is employed and on behalf of which the Submission was made, name voice, signature, photograph, image, likeness, distinctive appearance, gestures, mannerisms, the Submission, and/or and other personal/biographical material or their participation on-air.


By participating in the Contest, Participant irrevocably grants to Sponsor the perpetual right, without any liability to any person or entity, to reproduce, adapt, transmit, distribute, communicate, make available and otherwise use the Materials throughout the universe in any medium and in any manner, now or hereafter known, including, without limitation, if applicable, radio and television broadcasts, and cable and satellite transmissions, without payment of any compensation to Participants in connection with the Contest.


All participants agree to be bound by these Rules. Non-compliance with any of these Rules will result in disqualification and all privileges as a Participant will be immediately terminated.  Sponsor, in its sole discretion, further reserves the right to disqualify any person for: (i) tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest; (ii) gaining an unfair advantage in participating in the Contest; (iii) obtaining winner status using false, fraudulent or deceptive means; or (iv) engaging in otherwise unsportsmanlike, disruptive, annoying, harassing, or threatening behavior.



Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to supplement or make changes to these Rules as well as the rules of any contest at any time without notice. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to interpret the rules of any contest, and such interpretation shall be binding upon all participants.


To the fullest extent permitted by law, by participating in the Contest, a Participant understands and agrees that: 

  1. the Federal Arbitration Act applies to this agreement, and if the parties are unable to resolve their dispute amicably, it shall be resolved by means of binding arbitration (not in a court of law);
  1. any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action (even if the rules and procedures of the arbitration tribunal allow class arbitrations);
  1. any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event and under no circumstances will Participants be permitted to obtain awards for attorneys’ fees, and Participants hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, or any other form of damages, other than actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased;
  1. any claim or dispute regarding the Contest or these Official Rules will be resolved pursuant to the laws of Indiana, without regard to the conflicts of laws and rules of Indiana;
  1. any claim or dispute regarding the Contest or these Official Rules will be resolved in a tribunal within the state of Indiana, and Participants submit to the jurisdiction of, and waive all objections to the jurisdiction or venue of, such tribunal; and
  1. if for any reason a claim or dispute regarding the Contest or these Official Rules proceeds in court rather than through arbitration, there will not be a jury trial. 

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules, including but not limited to the agreement to arbitrate, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.  If any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained herein.


Copies of these Rules and/or the General Rules may be obtained by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: HOT 97 “Securing the Future” Contest Rules and/or Official Contest General Contest Rules, 395 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014. These Rules and the General Rules may also be found at

For a list of any Contest winners send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: HOT 97 “Securing the Future” Contest Rules and/or Official Contest General Contest Rules, Winners List, 395 Hudson Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014.


MediaCo Holding Inc. d/b/a WQHT-FM

395 Hudson Street, 7th Floor

New York, NY 10014



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