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There is no limit to the number of Instructables you can enter into any given contest, but as you say, only one of your I'bles can win / be a finalist in that contest.
Also a single Instructable can only be entered in up to three different contests at the same time.
I think it's possible that more than one of your projects can be a finalist but only one can win anything. I feel like this happened in a contest I was in and they ended up adding extra finalists.
You can only win one prize, which means you can only have one project as a finalist.
Not every finalist wins a prize in every contest. I can't remember which contest this happened in but when it happened (1 person, 2 finalists) in a contest I was a finalist in they just added more finalists. Then the person with more than one finalist only won the prize for their best entry and everyone else just moved up to fill their other project's spot.
I've just had a look through the contest archives and found some examples of what your saying, this Photo Contest had 20 finalists but only 11 prizes. Maybe something has changed in the contest format, in my more recent experience I've never seen a contest where there were more finalists than there were prizes.
Yes, anymore every finalist is a winner even if it is just a runner up. It didn't use to be that way. .
From what I can see looking at the archive, the contest format changed around the February of 2013 and the number of runners-up prizes available was increased, allowing for all finalists to be a prize winner.
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