Submission Deadline

11:59PM Eastern on Thursday, February 20, 2020

The submission period is now over. The contest results will be announced by the end of April. Good luck to all of our contestants!


All videos should specifically address the Video Topic, which is:

Income inequality is a hot button issue in America today. The super rich are blamed for taking so much, leaving the rest of Americans with so little—but is that true? Do millionaires and billionaires hurt the rest of us, or do we all benefit from the wealth they create? Watch John Stossel’s video below and make your own 1-3 minute video examining income inequality. Is it fair? How does it impact people’s lives? Should we do something about it?

Eligibility – The contest is open to students aged 14-23 at some point during the contest period (Nov. 20, 2019-Feb. 20, 2020). No more than one submission will be accepted for each student. Students must be located in North America or Hawaii, and all submissions should be in English. Employees of Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought, and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Previous winners of a Stossel in the Classroom first place prize are not eligible for prizes in our subsequent contests.

Video Length – Videos must be 1-3 minutes in length. Submissions that do not meet this requirement will be disqualified.

Deadline – Videos must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, February 20, 2020.

Plagiarism – All videos must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission form. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.

Taxes – Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.

Judges – Videos will be judged on their ability to answer the topic question in an clear, entertaining, and organized manner. Stossel in the Classroom will evaluate video submissions in a fair and unbiased three-round judging system, where judges will all use the same criteria. Judges will be selected by Stossel in the Classroom based on their backgrounds and expertise in education, online videos, and the subject matter. Decisions of the judges are final.

Ownership and Use – The ownership of any submission remains the property of the filmmaker, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for Stossel in the Classroom, Stossel TV, and Center for Independent Thought to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.


We recommend all students read this list of tips. It might help you avoid common mistakes that could cost you prize money!

  • Watch the Contest Video. You can find it above.
  • You can cite our Contest Video, but avoid basing your video entirely on the points made by John Stossel and Carol Roth. Do additional research, make your own arguments, and give us your thoughts.
  • Feel free to be creative. Past prize winners have run the gamut from serious video essays to comedy sketches, so do whatever you do best. 
  • Professional-level video and audio quality is not a requirement, but we need to be able to see and hear your video clearly.
  • Be mindful of the 1-3 minute time requirement. Videos which fail to meet this requirement will be disqualified.
  • Be original. To win the top prize, your video needs to stand out among thousands.
  • Check your facts. Factual errors can knock a great video out of contention.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your video. It takes time to upload to YouTube, and you don’t want to miss the deadline just because YouTube is taking longer than usual to post your video..

We look forward to watching your video. Good luck!

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