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‘How Harry Potter Changed My Life’ Essay Contest Counts 300 Submissions

With one more day until the final Harry Potter film, fans are reminiscing about growing up with the young wizard. The Plain Dealer hosted a “How Harry Potter Changed My Life” essay contest for its local readers.

The judges highlighted 15 essays out of 300 submissions. Ten of them received honorable mentions, four were deemed runner-ups and one was named the grand prize winner. They will publish the winner tomorrow. Prizes included a preview screening of Deathly Hallows Part 2 and $100 gift certificates from Half-Price Books.

Here is a (spoiler-free) excerpt from 13-year-old Jamie Vidumsky‘s essay: “Harry, Ron and Hermione taught me that even the best of friends can fight and make up. Sirius Black taught me that there’s more to people than just good and bad. Professor Remus Lupin taught me that chocolate can make anything better. Severus Snape taught me that in the end, helping others is worth it, no matter the cost.”

Deadline reports that Warner Brothers has already secured $13 million in ticket sales just from special midnight screenings planned for tomorrow. Internationally, the movie has already reaped $2.5 million in Australia, $1.8 million in Germany and $1.1 million in France–breaking box office records everywhere.

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