The 27th annual Great American Think-Off is looking for your essay submission for its annual philosophy debate. This year's controversial question reads: "To vote or not to vote: does it matter?" Essays are due April 1, 2019-just days away!

Express your opinion via 750 word (or less) essay, and your voice could win you 1 of 4 $500 cash prizes, PLUS an all-expense-paid stay in New-York-Mills, MN for the live debate on June 8, 2019! Enjoy a blissful weekend in MN Lakes Country while engaging in community connections and cultural conversation with us in New York Mills.

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The live debate event is held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the NYM School Auditorium. Four finalists (selected by a volunteer committee who read the essays with all personal information redacted) will participate in three rounds of debate, defending their essay and beliefs as to why it matters to vote, or not to vote. The individual who makes the best argument will be selected by audience vote as "America's Greatest Thinker" for 2019.

"The Think-Off was a very unique opportunity-there are few if any opportunities for adults to debate and discuss relevant and controversial topics outside of "gotcha" politics and sound bites being put out of context on Twitter. Instead, the Think-Off is a place where one can fully express one's ideas, have them considered carefully, and engage in civil discourse." - Anthony Berryhill, 2018 Think-Off Winner

People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit an essay. There is no fee to enter. Submit your essay in one of three simple ways: online at (preferred), via email at, or mail responses to Think-Off, c/o Cultural Center, P.O. Box 246, New York Mills, MN 56567. Essays must be submitted/sent/postmarked by April 1, 2019.

All are welcome to attend the great debate on Saturday, June 8, 2019, to cast your vote to help determine the answer this year's question and name America's Greatest Thinker for 2019.

For tickets and/or more information, visit, or call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339.