Contest - $2,000 Cash Prize for HD 99 Voters Trivia Contest

Here is the trivia contest explanation:

Every week until the General Election there will be a trivia question posed HERE, at  The answer to the question is located somewhere in this Website.

Every HD 99 registered voter who can locate the answer to the trivia question and report the correct answer to Gary via email will go into a random drawing for the $2,000 cash (well, probably a check) prize, to be drawn on the day before the General Election, November 5, 2012.

Contest rules:

Eligibility.  To be eligible for the contest, a participant must be a registered voter in Montana House District 99, according to the current roster of registered voters maintained by the Missoula County Elections Office, as of August 19, 2012.

Participation.  To participate, a voter must locate the correct answer to the trivia question and report that answer to Gary by email at  The Subject of the email must say "HD 99 Contest Entry".  The participant must also provide his or her name and address, as used for voter registration, so it may be confirmed that the participant is eligible by being a registered voter in House District 99.

Note about privacy.  Hey, Gary is a privacy nut and has been to the Montana Supreme Court with litigation in support of privacy.  Then why should participants email Gary their address as registered to vote to enter this contest?  Answer:  Gary wishes to provide this contest only for registered HD 99 voters - his money; his choice.  Gary does not wish the prize to go to someone in Billings, Canada or New Zealand.  Gary ALREADY has the full voter registration list for HD 99 on his computer, so giving Gary a participant's address will NOT mean providing any information Gary doesn't already have.  Gary must be able to match contest participants with the voter registration list to qualify participants, just to keep the contest within the established rules.

Prize and drawing.  The $2,000 in funds are on deposit with, will be held by, and the random drawing conducted by the Missoula accounting firm Galusha, Higgins and Galusha.  The random drawing will be held on November 5, 2012, the day prior to General Election day.  The winner will be notified by phone that day (if phone number is available), by email, or by U.S. Mail.  If the winner cannot be reached with available information or does not claim the prize within ten calendar days, another name will be drawn to become the contest winner.

Condition of prize award.  Because it will be necessary to complete the IRS Form 1099 for the prize recipient, the prize winner must provide information sufficient to complete the 1099 (such as SSN), or forfeit the prize.  This information does NOT need to be provided in advance (only voter registration information in advance).  If the first winner should choose to not provide necessary 1099 information, that person will forfeit the prize and another participant name will be drawn to become the contest winner.

Weekly refresh - weekly eligibility.  The trivia question will be changed each Sunday at about 9:00 PM.  Any HD 99 registered voter is eligible to locate and submit trivia question answer, each week.  An eligible person may participate once every week until November 5, 2012.  An eligible person will not be credited for the prize drawing for more than one entrance per week.

What this exercise is not. - This event is conducted by the Montanans for Marbut campaign which aspires to get Gary Marbut elected to HD 99.  As a condition of eligibility to participate in or win this contest, NO participant is required to vote for Gary, NO participant is asked to promise to vote for Gary, and NO participant is asked or required to provide any entry fee or anything of substance.  Being registered to vote in HD 99 and compliance with the rules of this contest are the only eligibility criteria to participate.

News Release about the Trivia Contest

Paid for by Montanans for Marbut, Mike Marbut Treasurer, P.O. Box 16106, Missoula, Montana 59808.



Complaints about this contest?

There have been some complaints about this contest. Complaints center around allegations that Gary Marbut is a "rich Republican" attempting to "buy votes," thought by some to be tacky at best or illegal at worst.

Gary responds:

I have very little personal money. I seeded my HD99 campaign account with $100 to open the account. That's all. Everything else I spend on this campaign comes from campaign donors. Everything.

According to published campaign finance reports, my opponent has raised half again as much campaign funding as I have (1/3 from large, out-of-state donations). My opponent is a government-employed lawyer who does not even live in House District 99, and only recently moved to Missoula County. My opponent's taxpayer-funded job pays over $70,000 per year. By comparison, I make about $25,000 per year from self employment, providing goods and services which people value and voluntarily pay for. So much for the "rich Republican" talk.

What about "buying votes?" My opponent and supporters will spend quite a bit of money pouring direct mail into voters' mailboxes, and probably buying radio, newspaper and television advertising. Do those who accuse me of attempting to "buy votes" think voters are smart enough to consider all that expensive campaign advertising, but too stupid to make their own decisions if they should visit my Website? Such accusations are not very flattering to HD 99 voters.

Further, if I choose to spend my donors' donations to create a reward chance for voters of HD 99, instead of pouring that same money into junk mail to clutter voters' mailboxes, how is that any different? Perhaps the accusers believe my Website programming skills are so superior that voters cannot visit this Website without being sucked in. (LOL) If so, I guess they haven't visited my Website.

In truth, I wanted to do something different and more fun than the usual blaring political campaign. That's why I conceived of and implemented the idea of this contest. It's also true that I have superior experience and credentials to represent the voters of HD 99, something voters may learn if they visit my Website to make an informed decision. And that's exactly what makes the opposition so full of sour grapes about this unique campaign effort.

Illegal or tacky? You decide. Because participants do not "pay to play" - the contest is free for HD 99 voters, - Montana gambling and lottery laws don't apply; nothing gambled. The Commissioner of Political Practices says there is no prohibition of using campaign funds for this purpose. That leaves the question of taste. Since everyone's taste is different, you should decide for yourself, and you should also resist being told what to think by others.