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Amazon.com Hosts the Harry Potter Magical Candy Contest Celebrating the Release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

SEATTLE, September 1, 1999--Leading online retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced today the Harry Potter Magical Candy Contest, to celebrate Scholastic's U.S. release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on September 8, 1999. Amazon.com is inviting children ages 6 to 13 to invent a wizard candy "so wonderful, so fabulously strange, with such magical powers that it would impress even Harry Potter."

The grand prize includes $4,000 in books for the winner's school library, a gift certificate from Amazon.com for books, toys, music, or videos; and a Be a Wizard magic kit, complete with a wizard's cape, magic wand, and lightning-bolt temporary tattoos. The contest will run from September 1, 1999 to September 30, 1999.

For the uninitiated, Harry Potter's charmed world at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is infused with sweet, supernatural delicacies such as Fizzing Whizbees (levitating sherbet balls) and Every Flavor Beans (jellybeans that taste like curry, grass, and sardines).

"Harry Potter is a hero," said Amazon.com's Children's Books Editor Karin Snelson. "Entire classes of children write in to Amazon.com Kids to rave about him, telling us how desperate they are for the next book in the series. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone had 1,098 customer reviews posted on August 29, claiming everything from 'This is the best book ever written!' to 'It is fantabulous!!' to 'This is the only author better than Roald Dahl!' We measure our customers' enthusiasm in exclamation points," Snelson said.

Contest entrants are required to draw a color picture of their candy creation on a white, unlined piece of paper, name it "something wild and goofy," describe its magical powers or unusual flavors in 100 words or fewer, and include name, age, and street address. Entries must be mailed by September 30 to: The Harry Potter Magical Candy Contest; Amazon.com; P. O. Box 81226; Seattle, WA 98108-1226. The winners' candy creations will be posted on the site after Halloween.

The grand-prize winner will receive:

  • A donation to the winner's school library that includes a $4,000 gift certificate from Amazon.com for books and a boxed set of Harry Potter books (signed by J.K. Rowling)
  • A Be a Wizard Magic Kit (with lightning-bolt temporary tattoos, stuffed owl, wizard's cape, magic wand, and more)
  • A 3-D model of the candy invention, designed by a Seattle artist
  • A boxed set of three Harry Potter books signed by J.K. Rowling
  • A $500 gift certificate from Amazon.com

Prizes for 10 runners-up include a donation to the winner's school library of a $500 gift certificate from Amazon.com for books and a boxed set of Harry Potter books (signed by J.K. Rowling); lightning-bolt temporary tattoos; and a $100 gift certificate from Amazon.com.

"Harry Potter is a true phenomenon," said Carl Gish, Amazon.com's general manager of books. "All three Harry Potter books have topped the Amazon.com 100 Hot for weeks-and at least two months before the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. To get thousands of pre-orders that long before publication is not just unusual for a children's book-it's unusual for any book."

Shortly after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was first published in England in 1997 as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, it won the National Book Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children's Book Award, and is now short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the U.K. version of the Newbery Medal. Rowling has written two more Harry Potter books since then-with four more on the way-and readers, from age six to teens, are standing in line for them.

You can find the Harry Potter Magical Candy Contest at www.amazon.com/candy-contest or go to www.amazon.com/kids, the Amazon.com children's bookstore.

About Amazon.com, Inc.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer, opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest SelectionTM with online auctions, toys, electronics, free electronic greeting cards, and more than 4.7 million book, music-CD, video, DVD, and computer-game titles. Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where people can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. As part of its efforts to provide the best shopping experience for customers, Amazon.com provides secure credit-card payment, personalized recommendations, streamlined ordering through 1-ClickSM technology, and hassle-free auction bidding with Bid-ClickSM.

Amazon.com operates two international Web sites:

www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.

In addition, Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.

Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Internet Movie Database, PlanetAll, Earth's Biggest Selection, Bid-Click, and 1-Click are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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