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X Prize Platinum

The X PRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to jump-start the space tourism industry, launched one of the most unusual and exciting sweepstakes in history yesterday. The grand-prize winner of the ‘Your Ticket to Space’ sweepstakes will take a sub-orbital trip into space, thereby earning official classification as an astronaut. To enter the sweepstakes consumers need to apply for and use one of six different ‘X PRIZE Platinum Visa’ credit cards offered by First USA. Card members receive an entry into the sweepstakes for each purchase. Consumers may also enter the sweepstakes e by calling a special toll-free number. Thousands of prizes will be awarded in the sweepstakes, including zero-gravity flights like the ones used to train astronauts to work in weightless environments, supersonic flights in Russian MiGs and trips to space camp. The sweepstakes will award nearly 1,000 prizes annually through drawings every three months. The first drawing will be held September 15.

FULL STORY:
The X PRIZE Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to jump-start the space tourism industry, today launched one of the most unusual and exciting sweepstakes in history. The grand-prize winner of the Your Ticket to Space sweepstakes will take a sub-orbital trip into space, thereby earning official classification as an astronaut.

One of the best ways to enter the sweepstakes is by applying for and using one of six different X PRIZE Platinum Visa credit cards offered by First USA, a subsidiary of BANC ONE CORPORATION. Each time the card is used, card members receive an entry into the sweepstakes. An initial sweepstakes entry and card application can be made by calling a special toll-free number, 877-U2-SPACE (877-827-7223), or by visiting the X PRIZE web site at http://www.xprize.org. No card application is required to enter the sweepstakes. Sweepstakes rules are available upon request.

Thousands of prizes will be awarded in the sweepstakes, including zero-gravity flights like the ones used to train astronauts to work in weightless environments, supersonic flights in Russian MiGs and trips to space camp. The sweepstakes will award nearly 1,000 prizes annually through drawings every three months. The first drawing will be held September 15, 1998. Shortly after the X PRIZE is won, a drawing will be held to award the grand prize of the sub-orbital flight.

Each of the six no-annual-fee X PRIZE Platinum Visa cards features unique space-tourism artwork and a 9.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers, one of the lowest non-introductory rates available. Each time the card is used to make a purchase, a contribution automatically will be made to the X PRIZE Foundation to help fund its New Race to Space.

Shortly after the first use of their card, card members will receive a free signed letter from a veteran NASA astronaut, along with a copy of National Geographic’s Orbit. This collector’s edition large format book features breathtaking photos of Earth taken by astronauts from various space missions.

Aside from its low APR, the X PRIZE Platinum Visa card features a credit line up to $100,000; a money-saving, balance-transfer option; and 24-hour, toll-free customer-service support.

The X PRIZE will be awarded to the first registered team, comprising aerospace experts and talented entrepreneurs, to build and launch a private spacecraft capable of carrying three people on a sub-orbital flight to an altitude of 62 miles (100 km) on two consecutive flights within two weeks. All teams must be privately financed.

The X PRIZE Foundation already has raised more than half of the $10 million purse and anticipates having the remaining funds within a year. Currently, more than a dozen teams from around the world have registered to compete for the X PRIZE.

First USA (http://www.firstusa.com), a subsidiary of BANC ONE CORPORATION, is a financial services company specializing in the credit card business and is among the largest providers of Visa, MasterCard and private-label credit cards in the nation. First USA has approximately 40.1 million cards issued and $39.6 billion in total loans outstanding.

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