Million More in May Madness 2015

Happy May 1st, BillionGravers!

That’s right. It’s already May and you know what that means! We’ve made it to our most exciting month of the year. It’s warm outside, the trees are green, the flowers have bloomed, and it’s time for our favorite event of the year – The 3rd Annual Million More in May Competition! We have an AMAZING prize this year! Keep reading to find out what we are giving away to all BG users who participate!


What is it?

The Million More in May Competition is a friendly event geared towards adding 1 Million (yes, that’s a 1 with six zeros behind it!) unique images, and 1 Million additional records transcribed and added to the BillionGraves database. Last year we got 938,000 photos  and 718,000 transcriptions! With all the new users and wonderful weather we could easily reach our 1 million record goal, and make a lot of people, looking for those records, eternally grateful for the hard work.

If you have one, pull out your calculator watches and lets look at how EASY reaching 1 million records really is!

  • We have 153,798 BillionGraves Users
  • Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 records

If only 1% of our users (1538 users) go out and takes only 650 photos or transcribes 650 records, we will easily hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark! 

If every one of our 153,798 users go out and takes only 7 images or transcribes 7 records, we will hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark! 

It is VERY easy to hit our 1 million photo and record goal, but we NEED YOUR HELP TO DO IT!!

Now, for those of you that really want to help and earn something while you are at it, we are stepping it up this month and bringing back a GREAT prize! 

(Let’s face it,  everyone likes FREE stuff!)

As always, the greatest reward for your efforts comes from knowing that you are preserving invaluable genealogical records as well as making them readily available for family members to locate. It’s not worth getting 1 million records if they aren’t done correctly!!

PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE follow all the guidelines for taking the “PERFECT” picture! Need a refresher? Read this great article about the 7 ways to become the photographer that every genealogists loves! Remember with our new photo rating system that our transcribers will be making sure that QUALITY photos are the only kind of photos acceptable! Any blurry or poor photos will removed from your total. We love doing competitions like this, but we all need to remember that quality is ALWAYS better than quantity!

[info_box]Note: All photos and transcriptions will be audited throughout the competition. Any photos that do not adhere to the strict guidelines found in the article HERE will be disqualified from the competition. [/info_box]

However, we’ve got a little something that might help get you outside and into the cemeteries with your smartphones (Download the iOS App HERE, Download the Android App HERE, Download the Windows App HERE) –

If you upload 50,000 unique images, or transcribe 50,000 records, we will give you a brand new, 16GB (4G-LTE capable) Apple iPad Mini! How’s that for an incentive?


That’s right, this isn’t a drawing for one iPad mini! EVERY user that uploads over 50,000 unique photos or transcribes 50,000 records will get their very own iPad mini, straight from Apple and unlocked to be compatible with any cell carrier.*

*For users in countries where Apple products are not offered or compatible with carriers you will receive a gift card of equivalent or equal value.*



Taking 50,000 photos and transcribing 50,000 records is no small feat! Only a small handful of people have ever achieved it, and they did it for free! This time, we want to show our users, who really go the extra mile, our gratitude! We know not everyone will be able to reach 50,000. It would not be such an accomplishment if it were easy! 

We want to give an iPad away to everyone!! Unfortunately, BillionGraves is a FREE site and we want to keep it that way! Remember, our goal is to document the world’s cemeteries and make it available to anyone and everyone for FREE!

We like to spice things up every now and then with prizes and give-aways! So for anyone who wants to step up and be apart of a very small elite group of volunteers, this month’s prize is just for you!

Some Helpful Tips

Register! It’s 100% free and 100% necessary if you’re going to participate in this competition. Make sure once you register that you verify your email! To claim your prize we will communicate with you through the email you provide and verify.

Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! It’s simple to do and keeps you constantly up to date will all the new amazing things we are doing at BG!

• Make sure that you have the latest and greatest BillionGraves apps. Check the iTunes App Store Google Play, or Windows App Store for any updates for your device.

• Make it a habit. Go to the cemetery regularly—incorporate a local cemetery into your daily walk or bike ride, and snap some pictures along the way.

• Follow your progress on our leaderboard! We have fancy graphics that will track your progress every step of the way! The leaderboard is not in real time. Please allow 24 hours for numbers to reflect accurately! Remember that photos that are flagged by transcribers will be removed from your totals, so the totals may vary daily. Don’t forget you can always correct any images that are flagged. Learn more about fixing flagged images here.

• A word of advice: don’t wait for Memorial Day. The decorations at the cemetery for that holiday actually make it MORE difficult to collect images—people have to transcribe the content, and flower arrangements and other decorations can easily obscure that important content.

• Contest begins May 1, 2015 and ends May 31, 2015 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST)

[info_box] A great way to reach your goal is to grab your friends and head out to the cemetery as a group!

If everyone in the group logs their different devices into one account, your efforts will be combined, making it easier to hit your goal! Once you hit the 50,000 photo goal or 50,000 transcription goal, switch it up and combine efforts under another person in the group and earn multiple devices!

So make it a group effort! Get a few friends/family members out at a time, log in to the same account, and take as many pictures as you can in one outing. For example, a husband/wife team could get an iPad Mini together by taking 25,000 images each, which is less than many users do in a month by themselves.

Note: Only one prize will be given per username, and will be shipped to the username the efforts are performed under. [/info_box]

One change we are making this year is allowing you to combine photos and transcriptions! For example if you take 25,000 photos and transcribe 25,000 records you will earn an iPad Mini! How cool is that! That way you can take your own photos AND transcribe them! The 14 day photo hold will still be in effect during the competition. So any photos you take you have first dibs!


“What?! BillionGraves isn’t really going to give out an iPad… are they?!” 


YES we really are giving out an iPad mini! Still don’t believe us? Ask Nancy Alford, Melyssawebb, jodie1, Paulwuzhere, William, FionaNZ or liallee and see if we were kidding? Here is Fiona enjoying the iPad mini she won during a competition last year!



The Fine Print. (Cause we have to have fine print, right?)

    • All photos and transcriptions must be submitted before the closing date of May 31, 2015 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST). Any submissions after that point will be excluded from the final results.
    • This promotion is intended for photographers and transcribers. Let’s go outside!
    • Supporting records will NOT be counted towards the monthly totals. Only images that originate from the genuine BillionGraves apps will be accepted.
    • If you or another user marks a headstone picture as “bad” we deduct it from the uploader’s total images.
    • For transcribers, we will be looking extra hard at the quality of transcriptions as well. We will erase the record and have it re-transcribed if it’s not done correctly. Any record not transcribed correctly will be deducted from your total.
    • In the off chance that we don’t have enough images to transcribe, GO TAKE PICTURES! We will allow both photos taken and transcriptions completed to count.
    • Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in your local cemetery before doing so. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures. No one likes a trespasser! Not cool!
    • This promotion is open to all to participate ages 13 and above for free. Registration is required. (Register HERE. Come on.You know you want to. It’s free!)
    • More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account. The prize will be claimed by only the username the combined work was completed under. BillionGraves will not arbitrate any disputes.  ALL RECORDS MUST BE UNDER ONE ACCOUNT. BILLIONGRAVES WILL NOT COMBINE ACCOUNTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
    • Items will ship in 6-8 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S. Please allow 8-12 weeks for winners outside the U.S. However, our shipment robots are getting faster!
    • Due to current world-unrest, some areas may increase the amount of time it takes for prizes to be delivered. If for some reason your country isn’t compatible with iPad Mini, we will work with you to provide you with a prize that is equal in value.
    • Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
    • Winner will be required to provide completed tax forms for redemption of the prize

We’re super excited for this amazing competition! Now, get outside and earn yourself a free iPad Mini! Good luck!

-The BillionGraves Team