New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $1.5 billion upstate economic development competition is starting.
The contest, dubbed Cuomo's 'Hunger Games,' pits upstate regions against each other in a battle for one of three $500 million prizes.
Officials in the seven eligible regions have until Oct. 5 to submit their proposals for how they'd use the money to improve the local economy.
The Democratic governor announced the start of the competition on Thursday. He says he hopes it brings out each region's best ideas for how to revitalize their local economy.
The seven eligible regions are the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier, central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capitol Region, the mid-Hudson Valley and the North Country. Western New York isn't eligible because of Cuomo's previous "Buffalo Billion" initiative.