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2012 Holiday Lights Photo Contest

Holiday Lights Photo Contest

Click here to vote for the Winning Entry

Best Holiday Lights Display in WNY Wins a $100 Tops Gift Card

Who’s got the best-decorated home in Western New York?

If your electric bill spikes every December because you can’t help turning your yard into the Las Vegas of the East; if cars slow down as they pass your home so passengers can gawk at your lights; or if you simply have the most tasteful holiday display on the block, then you should get the recognition you deserve!

Enter to win a $100 Tops Gift card!!

Grand Prize is a $100 Tops Gift Card. One Runner-up gets a $25 VISA Gift card. Enter the 2012 Holiday Lights Contest by sending us a picture of your home decorations. Then the public gets to vote on the grand prize winner. We’ll show your picture on line and on air the last week before Christmas so voters can decide who’s got the best-decorated holiday home in WNY.

Here’s how it works:

  • The Photo Submission Deadline has passed. Thank you for your entries.
  • Click here to Vote for the Winning Holiday Lights Photo
  • Voting will end at 4pm on Friday, December 21st. Winners will be notified via email.

Picture Taking Tips

Norm FisherWGRZ Photojournalist Norm Fisher offers the following tips for taking an award-winning photo of your display:

  1. Don't hand-hold the camera. Use a tripod or place the camera on a steady object while exposing.
  2. Use the automatic setting if you're using a digital camera, or use incandescent or tungsten setting if it's dark outside.
  3. Shooting after sunset or dusk while there is still skylight will help make the background show up and the lights look nice and warm.
  4. "Bracket" or shoot multiple exposures of the same scene changing the camera settings to see which looks the best. Don't be afraid to experiment!
  5. Try using the flash and not using it on the same shot to see what's better.

Contest Rules


Holiday Lights Photo Contest



2.         Eligibility.  Subject to the additional restrictions below, the 2012 Holiday Lights Photo Contest (the “Contest”) is open to legal U.S. residents who are 21 years of age or older as of November 1, 2012, and who are legal residents of the following counties in New York State: Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming and Allegany.  Employees and contractors of WGRZ-TV (“Sponsor”), Gannett Co., Inc., promotional partners, and each of their respective affiliated companies, and advertising and promotional agencies, and the immediate family members of, and any persons domiciled with, any such employees or contractors, are not eligible to enter or to win. If you or anyone in your household has won a prize with an ARV that exceeds $200 in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to enter or win.

3.         How To Enter.  The Contest will begin at 9:00 a.m. (E.T.) on Saturday, December 1, 2012, and end at 4:00 p.m. (E.T.) on Friday, December 21, 2012 (the “Contest Period”). 

Internet Entry.   Enter between 9:00 a.m. (E.T.) Saturday, December 1, 2012 and 8:00 a.m. Monday, December 17, 2012 (the “Entry Period”) by visiting Sponsor’s website at, click on the Contests and Coupons page, and the 2012 Holiday Lights Photo Contest link, submitting one (1) photograph that captures a Holiday Lights display at your  residence and/or front yard. Complete all required information and follow all posted instructions.  Each photo submission must be an authentic, original photograph, taken by the contestant identified on the entry, and the contestant must own the copyright in the photograph submitted.  All digital entries should be at the highest resolution possible.  Sponsor will accept the jpeg format, no larger than one (1) megabyte in size.  Images must not have been digitally altered in any way other than necessary cropping.  Photograph must have been taken no earlier than November 1, 2012. Sponsor reserves the rights to disqualify any entry that is alleged to infringe on any third-party’s intellectual property rights, refuse any photograph it determines to be unacceptable or inappropriate, Contestants certify that any individuals of any age shown in photographs furnished, and the parents and/or legal guardians of any children shown in any photographs furnished, have been informed that their, or their child’s, photograph has been entered in a Contest and have no objection to Contestant’s submission and Sponsor’s display and posting of such photograph for purposes of this Contest. 

Maximum one (1) entry per household.  Entries must be received by 8:00 a.m. (E.T.) on Monday, December 17, 2012.

Sponsor will not be responsible for incomplete e-mail transmissions. Contestants acknowledge and agree that Sponsor shall have the right to edit, adapt, modify, reproduce, publish, promote, broadcast, or otherwise display or use entries in any way it sees fit without limitation or compensation to entrants.  By entering you agree to the terms of these Official Rules and to receive e-mails from Sponsor or those directed by Sponsor.  You can opt-out of the receipt of such e-mails by following the directions on the Contest website or in any email received from Sponsor.   

4.         Winner SelectionJudging Round.  On Monday December 17, 2012 a panel of qualified judges selected by Sponsor will judge all eligible entries received as of that day and time according to the following criteria:  (1) clarity of photo, (2) composition of photo, (3) unique portrayal of the theme, and (4) emotional impact of the image.  Equal weight will be given to each criterion.  Five entries receiving the highest score that day will be designated as Finalists.  In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged on the same criteria listed above.  Decisions of judges and Sponsor shall be final and binding in all respects.   Each Finalist will compete in the final Voting Round for the selection of the Grand Prize Winner.

Voting Round.  At about 12:00 p.m. (E.T.) Monday, December 17, 2012 through 4:00 p.m. (E.T. Friday, December 21, 2012 the ten (10) Finalists’ entries will be posted on Sponsor’s website, and will be open for public voting by individuals who are 18 years or older.  Voters will select the photo they believe most creatively illustrates a seasonal holiday.  The entry with the highest percentage of recorded eligible votes as of 4:00 p.m. (E.T.) on Friday, December 21, 2012 will be the Grand Prize Winner.  In the event of a tie; the Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected by Sponsor from among the tied entries. The entry receiving with the second-highest percentage of recorded eligible votes as of 4:00 p.m. (E.T.) on Friday, December 21, 2012 will be the Runner Up. In the event of a tie; the Runner Up will be randomly selected by Sponsor from among the tied second-highest entries. Decisions of Sponsor shall be final and binding in all respects 

5.        Prizes. Grand Prize: The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $100 Tops Markets Gift Card (ARV: $100).  There is no expiration date.

Runner Up Prize: The Runner Up will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card. Gift card expires December 2019 (ARV: $25). 

6.         Winner Notification and Acceptance.  Winners will be notified via the email address provided on winner’s entry form within 24 hours of their selection.  Winners must respond to Sponsor’s email notification within 72 hours.  Failure to respond within such time period or return of email prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. To claim prizes, each Winner must personally pick up the Prize at Sponsor’s business office located at 259 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. (E.T.) and 5:00 p.m. (E.T.)), by the close of business on Friday, January 18, 2013.  A valid photo identification may be required. Winners may waive their right to receive prizes.  Prizes are non-assignable, nontransferable and not redeemable for cash.  No substitutions allowed by winner.  Prizes and individual components of prize packages are subject to availability and Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value.  Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. Winners will be required to complete an affidavit of eligibility/liability  and publicity release which must be returned as instructed by Sponsor.  Failure to sign and return the affidavit or release, or to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules, may result in a winner’s disqualification, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize, and the award of the prize to a substitute winner.  Except where prohibited, acceptance of any prize constitutes winner’s consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information and likeness in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation the Internet, or further compensation.  Prizes not won and claimed by eligible winners in accordance with these Official Rules will not be awarded and will remain the property of Sponsor.

7.         Participation.  By participating, contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Contest as solely determined by Sponsor.  In the event the Contest is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsor which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest.  Should the Contest be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, Sponsor reserves the right to award prizes based on the entries received before the termination date.  Sponsors will not be responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries (either photos or ballots), poor quality photos, or for failure to receive entries or votes or other electronic communications due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender or Sponsor.  In the event of a dispute, all online entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the ISP account from which they were sent.  For these purposes, an ISP account holder shall mean the natural person assigned to such ISP account by the Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning ISP addresses for the domain associated with such ISP account.  Any questions regarding the number of entries, or votes submitted or the owner of an ISP account shall be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entries or votes by persons determined to be tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Contest. 

8.         Copyright.  By entering the Contest, each contestant grants to Sponsor an exclusive, royalty-free and irrevocable right and license to publish, print, edit or otherwise use the contestant’s submitted entry, in whole or in part, for any purpose and in any manner or media (including, without limitation, the Internet) throughout the world in perpetuity, and to license others to do so, all without limitation or further compensation.  Each contestant further agrees that if his/her entry is selected by Sponsor as the winning entry, he/she will sign any additional license or release that Sponsors may require, and will not publicly perform or display his or her submission without the express permission of Sponsors.

9.         Construction. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision.  In the event that 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 therein.

10.        Sponsor.  The  2012 Holidays Holiday Lights Photo Contest is sponsored by WGRZ-TV.  The decisions of Sponsor and the Contest judges regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Contest shall be final and binding in all respects.  Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Contest.  For a list of winners (available after December 30, 2012), or a copy of these Official Rules, visit or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “Winners List/Official Rules” (as applicable), Holiday Lights Photo Contest, WGRZ-TV, 259 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202If you have any questions regarding this Contest, please contact Patrick Klinck at (716) 849-2288 or