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    Mars Treats Consumers to Million Dollar Contest

    Halloween-themed promotion launched Monday.

    HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. -- Mars Snackfood US unveiled its Halloween Million Dollar Contest that gives consumers a chance to win prizes, including a $1 million award, when they purchase M&M's, Milky Way, Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, 3 Musketeers and Twix brand candy.

    The company is offering these brands in new flavors and Halloween-themed packaging and launching a television commercial starring the M&M's characters and the Headless Horseman.

    "Halloween is not just a one-night event, but a nine-week season of decorating, entertaining, trick-or-treating and Booing activities," said Michele Kessler, vice president of marketing for Mars Snackfood US. "We're adding more excitement to the season by introducing a contest and several new items that build on our Halloween staple brands."

    The Halloween Million Dollar Contest, an online sweepstakes based in a haunted mansion at HalloweenMillion.com, will treat one lucky person to a $1 million prize, and an instant win game will award 20,000 other prizes.

    To take part in the sweepstakes, consumers visit HalloweenMillion.com, where they key in their birth dates to ensure they are at least 13 years of age. Next, consumers enter a UPC code on participating products. Consumers automatically enter that brand's "room" in the Million Dollar Mansion, such as the M&Ms Ballroom, Milky Way Observatory and Skittles Gaming Parlor. Besides offering games, each room contains a clickable item which, when clicked, will reveal Instant Win messages to lucky consumers. Prizes range from free product coupons to $1,000 M&M's branded Visa debit cards. All participants are entered in the sweepstakes for the $1 million grand prize.

    The Halloween Million Dollar Contest is being supported by an extensive advertising campaign, including television and print, as well as two national freestanding newspaper inserts. A humorous television commercial features the Headless Horseman with the Red and Yellow M&M's characters. The TV spot airs nationally Oct. 6 to 31.

    Among the new products offered: Cool Ghoul's Mix, a Halloween M&M's blend of purple, electric green, black and orange M&Ms in 45-ounce stand-up pouches in milk chocolate and peanut varieties; fun-size Skittles Chocolate Mix; fun-size 3 Musketeers Dark Chocolate Mint; and fun-size Snickers Rockin' Nut Road, with marshmallow-flavored nougat base underneath a mixture of almonds and caramel, wrapped in dark chocolate.

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