Online movie rental company Netflix has awarded a $1 million prize to a group of scientists for developing improvements to its movie recommendation system.
The three-year contest drew more than 40,000 teams from 186 countries. The winning group consisted of members from Austria, Canada and the US, including two researchers from AT&T Labs.
The group also won two progress prizes during the competition, the first in 2007 and the second in 2008, AT&T said.
Most of the entrants from the competition will not receive payment, and even the winners will have to divide the prize money amongst a large group of people, the New York Timessaid.
But most participants entered the tournament simply for the chance to receive access to the Netflix data set. Arnab Gupta, the head of New York-based Opera Solutions said his company had already achieved a “$10 million payoff” by taking part in the competition.