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Enter the Golden Ticket sweepstakes to be Willy Wonka for a day

To commemorate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s 50th anniversary, Penguin launches a yearlong celebration and a sweet national sweepstakes

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trade paperback 50th anniversary edition (Puffin)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trade paperback 50th anniversary edition (Puffin) courtesy Puffin

This year, Roald Dahl's treasured tome Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reached the impressive milestone of 50 years since it was first published. To commemorate the occasion, Penguin Young Readers kicked off a yearlong celebration of the book—which has sold an estimated 20 million copies worldwide and is printed in 55 languages—including a national sweepstakes with some serisouly sweet prizes.

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Children across the country are invited to enter for a chance to win the "National Golden Ticket Sweepstakes" now through August 8, thanks to Penguin's partnership with First Books, a nonprofit providing books to children and low-income families. Much like in Dahl's original story, five lucky winners will receive a Golden Ticket trip to New York City (two round-trip tickets), where they'll take part in the ultimate Wonka experience. First, the kids will enjoy VIP status at NYC sweets emporium Dylan's Candy Bar, where they'll take on responsibilities similar to Willy Wonka's for a day: running the store, taste testing, filling candy bins. Winners will also get the chance to see another of Dahl's magical stories come to life, with tickets to see Matilda the Musical on Broadway.

A visit to the Empire State Building, a year's supply of chocolate and $5,000 worth of Roald Dahl titles for their school's library are just a few other perks that the wee Wonkas will enjoy. Track down an entry form at Dylan's Candy Bar locations or online. Though few will win, every sweepstakes entry received means a donation to First Books by Penguin Young Readers Group.

In addition to the sweepstakes, Penguin will host a slew of events across the country, including a national bus tour and events in various bookstores and libraries. One such event (though it's not open to the public) will feature Luke Kelly, Dahl's grandson, reading and distributing copies of the book to students at a kickoff visit to P.S. 8 Luis Belliard School in Washington Heights on April 9.

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