(May 7, 2003 – Burbank, CA) — The WB has chosen Drew Carey, star of “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line is it Anyway?” to host this fall’s blockbuster TV special “Pepsi Play for a Billion.” Contestants will win a chance to appear on the show, a two-hour special in September, by participating in a summer-long promotion from Pepsi, which is hitting stores nationwide this month. “Drew is the perfect host for what we think will be the biggest event in our history," said Jordan Levin, president, entertainment, The WB. "He is smart, funny and an everyman who will share in the excitement of somebody playing to win one billion dollars." “Drew makes a great connection with the TV viewing public thanks to his fantastic improvisation skills and impeccable comic timing,” said Dave Burwick, SVP and chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America. “He’ll make this a fun show to watch.” The show guarantees a $1 million-winner with a one in 1000 chance that the $1 billion will be awarded. Contestants on the show will have been randomly selected through Pepsi’s summer promotion, “Pepsi Play for a Billion.” Here’s how to play: • Check specially marked Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist products for a sweepstakes entry code or $15 instant win message. • If you find a sweepstakes entry code, enter the code on the secure web site (www.billionsweeps.com) or mail it to the sweepstakes entry address on the package. • One-thousand consumers will be randomly selected throughout the summer and offered a trip to appear on the live television broadcast. The 1,000 sweepstakes winners will appear on the show and play a game of chance followed by a nail-biting elimination process to determine the $1 million prizewinner. The $1 million winner will then have a chance to win $1 billion without forfeiting the $1 million prize. If won, the $1 billion prize will be awarded in the form of a 40-year annuity with a balloon payment in the final year, or the contestant may instead elect to receive a lump sum payment representing the present value of the annuity. Pepsi has taken out an insurance policy in the event that someone wins the billion-dollar prize. Carey, a stand-up comic turned actor, stars in “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line is it Anyway?.” “The Drew Carey Show” is currently in its eighth season and is written, created and produced by Carey and Bruce Helford. Carey is also producer and host of “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” his improv-based program, which is currently in its fifth season.
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