An ensemble of methods from four teams has passed the criteria to win the Netflix Prize.
Other teams have 30 days to beat it, but, no matter what happens, the $1M prize will be claimed in the next month.
Congratulations to the winning team and all the competitors. It was a goal that some thought impossible without additional data, but remarkable persistence has proven the impossible possible.
Please see also my earlier post, "On the front lines of the Netflix Prize", which summarizes an article that describes some of the algorithms that brought the winning team to where it is now.
Update: In an extremely close finish, a different team, The Ensemble, took the prize. Remarkable not only to see another team qualify for the grand prize, but then to see BellKor beaten with only four minutes left in the contest.
Congratulations to all, especially those who shared knowledge and joined together to help the winning teams. The winners discovered a solution to a problem that many thought might never be solved.
Update: It appears it is still unclear who ultimately will be declared the winner of the $1M prize.
Update Good article on the current state of the contest in the New York Times.
Update: Adding to this, there is a colorful story about the nailbiting finish in a blog post from the Pragmatic Theory team (part of the "BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos" submission).
Update: Three months later, Netflix awards the prize to BellKor and starts a second contest.