In the New iPad Contest, the rules state:

We can give away a maximum of 25 iPod touch devices and a maximum of 6 new iPads (5 for Level 3, and 1 for the raffle). In the event that more than the maximum number of people complete the Levels, the winners with the highest combined score on their contest posts will be chosen.

Should more than five users complete Level 3 (a possibility looking more and more likely, despite my prediction that we'd be lucky if a grand total of two people completed the challenge!), how exactly are winners chosen? It says "highest combined score on their contest posts", but which posts are contest posts for Level 3 purposes? The first 35 questions asked during the contest? The highest scoring 35 questions asked during the contest? All not closed, not deleted questions and answers from the contest time period?

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    I'd add to this question: if someone is not in the top 5 of Level 3, are they guaranteed to get an iPod? That is, are they ranked along with the Level 2-ers? / Is it possible that someone in Level 3 has less total score on "contest posts" than people in Level 2, and thus wins nothing?
    – jtbandes
    Mar 25, 2012 at 21:11
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    They've already committed to $8,000 worth of prizes ($5,000 for 25 ipods, $3,000 for 6 ipads) but I'm secretly hoping that since the contest obviously exceeded their expectations, they might exceed the contestants expectations and increase the prizes (number of prizes/winners, or new level with higher end ipads or laptops), though that's probably unlikely. Still, I'm about to hit level two and I suspect I'm going to have to hit level three just to get an ipod. I've pretty much written off the ipads since at best I might be 16th to 20th place overall. I can't catch up to the leaders now...
    – Adam Davis
    Mar 26, 2012 at 13:19
  • I'm curious if, for any reason, bounties would not be considered as part of the "highest combined score".
    – Adam Davis
    Mar 26, 2012 at 15:55
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    There is a related question here where I left an answer that should clarify your questions. Let me know if it doesn't. Thanks!
    – Lauren
    Mar 26, 2012 at 17:48
  • @Lauren: what are your thoughts on Adam's point below? "It may be that latecomers will have somewhat of an advantage by spending more time crafting questions and answers that will be more highly scored for their entries than those who have already reached a given level and locked in their contest entries with generic questions and answers."
    – jtbandes
    Mar 26, 2012 at 23:46
  • It's an interesting thought. I think people who post early also have an advantage though, because their posts will be up longer and have more opportunities to be voted on. These rules weren't meant to encourage or discourage people from posting early or later, they're just there for tie-breaking purposes if necessary.
    – Lauren
    Mar 27, 2012 at 15:09
  • This question is closed since the relevant promotion is over and that code inactive.
    – bmike Mod
    Feb 26, 2014 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Lauren, part of the community development/evangelism team (CHAOS) at Stack Exchange that is running this contest, posted the following clarification:

To figure out who the "top 5" are, we'll look at the posts you made for the contest and figure out the total combined score (so if all 35 of your posts had a score of 6, your combined score would be 35*6 = 210). The 5 who have the highest combined score will get an iPad.

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    Your score is not locked in. Lauren clarified this in an edit to the same post: "The posts that will count for the tie breaker are the highest-scored posts you made during the contest. For Level 2 that will be the top 20 posts and for Level 3 that will be the top 35 posts"
    – Hippo
    Apr 1, 2012 at 3:07

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