When all the adults are arguing in the side room after Harry's name came out of the Goblet of Fire, Moody suggests that someone confunded the Goblet to think there were four schools, and submitted Harry's name as the only candidate for that school:

“Because they hoodwinked a very powerful magical object!” said Moody. “It would have needed an exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle that goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the tournament. ... I’m guessing they submitted Potter’s name under a fourth school, to make sure he was the only one in his category....”

That this is in fact what happened is confirmed when Moody tells this to Harry in his office after Harry returns from the graveyard:

“Who put your name in the Goblet of Fire, under the name of a different school? I did.

Throughout the rest of the book Harry is considered (one of) the Hogwarts champion(s) and is not considered the champion of the unnamed fourth school.

This would seem to indicate that a student is the champion of the school he attends, regardless of the school that he entered under.

Theoretically, then, students could submit their names under different schools and the Goblet will pick one student with each school name, and we could end up with all three students from the same school.

For example, three students from Hogwarts enter the tournament. One writes "Hogwarts", one writes "Beauxbatons", and one writes "Durmstrang". The Goblet decides that the best candidates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are actually the Hogwarts students and they get picked. Since all three students are from Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons now have no champions, Hogwarts automatically wins, and they can all just go home.

Could something like this actually happen? If not, why not?

If yes, this seems like a really easy way to have a rigged tournament.

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    Hmm. What stops people from putting their name into the goblet with the wrong school though. I think this question could be salvaged if you removed some of the commentary and made it a bit more directly answerable – Valorum Aug 8 '18 at 20:04
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    But, if the slip submitting Harry went through showing him as a Hogwarts student (and I don't remember any other school name being listed), then the Goblet might utilize something other than the school name on the entry slip to match student to school. And, we know Harry was put through as a student from a 4th school, from Junior's confession. – RDFozz Aug 8 '18 at 20:06
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    @RDFozz Well that's precisely my question. If Harry can be a Hogwarts champion while being chosen for another school, why can't that be the case with all the champions? – Alex Aug 8 '18 at 20:10
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    the real question here is, was harry actually hogwarts champion, or was he really the champion of the 4th school, since they are all in a binding magical contract. Also assuming you could submit your name for another school, again you would now officially be beauxabotns champion, and would be required to compete through to event to satisify the magical contract. – Himarm Aug 8 '18 at 20:11
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    anyway this is still a bottom less pit of, we dont actually know what the goblet can and cant do, tell, etc. – Himarm Aug 8 '18 at 20:23

The statements in your question seem to contradict yourself. To answer your basic question:

Could something like this actually happen? If not, why not?

Sure. Of course it could happen. Anything could happen if a sufficiently powerful wizard set about to make it happen. We already know for a fact that the goblet can be tricked into doing something it shouldn't have been able to do. There's no reason to suspect it couldn't be tricked into thinking one person went to three different schools and picking them all.

However, you then say:

If yes, this seems like a really easy way to have a rigged tournament.

But that statement is not at all supported by the evidence. In fact, your own quotation contradicts that assertion, as we're also told:

“It would have needed an exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle that goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the tournament. (emphasis mine)

It took a very powerful wizard, and I presume a lot of planning and help, to somehow confuse the goblet into allowing a fourth school to enter. Given that's all we know about the goblet, we can only conclude that it would take an equally "exceptionally strong" charm to do what you're proposing. That means you'd have to find someone both 1) capable, and 2) motivated to rig the tournament, knowing that it would be immediately obvious to the remaining schools that they've been cheated out of the Cup.

In Harry's case, Voldemort didn't actually care about the Tournament -- he just wanted to make sure Harry touched the Triwizard Cup. For an actual school and/or student to try to do this to win the Tournament legitimately would almost certainly cause some investigation and action to be taken afterward.

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  • My quotation only discusses making the Goblet forget how many schools there are. – Alex Aug 24 '18 at 18:05

The Goblet of Fire is not a lottery

In order to pick the person from each school most suited to represent them, the Goblet of Fire is making complex moral judgements, and it is not doing so based on the students' handwriting.

Considering that the Goblet is capable of detecting the character of submitting students, there's no reason to believe that it can't detect their school affiliation as well. Attempts to manipulate the Goblet by writing down someone else's name would likely also be detected under normal circumstances.

(Note that there were apparently no precautions taken to prevent an older student from submitting the name of a younger student, despite that being a fairly obvious way to circumvent Dumbledore's Age Line. Clearly they didn't think such precautions were necessary, even though they do consider the possibility when Harry apparently does the impossible.)

The ruling that Harry had to compete is suspect

When describing the submission process, Dumbledore says:

The placing of your name in the Goblet constitutes a binding, magical contract.

This wording is a bit imprecise. It could be reasonably taken to mean either "When you place your name in the Goblet you are subject to this contract" or "When anybody places your name in the Goblet you are subject to this contract". The exact wording favors the latter, but Dumbledore is not a lawyer writing legalese and he did not expect his exact wording to be subject to scrutiny.

The implications of being able to enter other people into binding magical contracts without their knowledge or consent is too horrifying on a broader scale to take seriously. All it requires is one wizard with the power to create an object like the Goblet of Fire who is unscrupulous enough to abuse this and every person in the world will be subject to magical contracts that enslave them to this wizard.

If Harry's consent was required to enter into the magical contract, then he logically should not have been required to compete. But the final determination was left in the hands of Barty Crouch (Sr.), who says

"We must follow the rules, and the rules state clearly that those people whose names come out of the Goblet of Fire are bound to compete in the tournament. "

(Incidentally, Crouch doesn't say anything about magical contracts. He just says that the rules don't permit it)

But Crouch is under the Imperius Curse cast by his son, whose entire goal is to force Harry to compete in the tournament. His determination, as authoritative as everyone takes it to be at the time, cannot be construed as evidence of what the regular ruling would be under more normal circumstances.

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    Not sure about your "hilarious or horrifying", magic doesn't care if you understand the contract or not. Evidence the twins almost getting Ron to agree to an unbreakable vow, when he had no idea of the implications/consequences. And if it were possible to dismiss a selected entrant, they (Dumbledore et al) would have almost assuredly done so for Harry. – JohnP Aug 9 '18 at 14:45
  • But the Goblet failed to detect Harry's school affiliation. Now you could argue that that was part of it being confunded, but the only thing Moody mentions regarding confunding is making the Goblet think there are four schools.(I.e. the implication is that he didn't need to confund it to make it think that Harry was a student at the fourth school.) At the very least, if this is a premise of your argument (and if it is not supported by evidence) you should state it explicitly in your answer. – Alex Aug 9 '18 at 15:56
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    @JohnP - The "horrifying" part is that Harry had done nothing to agree to the contract, or put himself under it. It was done by a third party with no legal or magical connection/control over Harry (Not his legal guardians, or his godfather, or even his headmaster). – RDFozz Aug 9 '18 at 16:16
  • @Alex Crouch Jr wasn't trying to explain how he did it, he was trying to shift the blame off of Harry. To do that, he needed to demonstrate the difficulty of the task, but the exact details of what he did to the Goblet weren't necessary, and would have increased the amount of suspicion on him (which was already pretty high due to his ready answer as to how quick he was to answer the question. He only got away with it as it was because of Moody's reputation for extreme paranoia) – Arcanist Lupus Aug 9 '18 at 19:30
  • Irrelevant. Dumbledore also said it was magically binding. 'The placing of your name in the goblet constitutes a binding, magical contract. There can be no change of heart once you have become a champion. Please be very sure, therefore, that you are wholeheartedly prepared to play before you drop your name into the goblet.' – Pryftan Aug 10 '18 at 20:07

To follow up on other answers: If we assume Harry's name was in fact submitted by Barty Crouch Jr [Polyjuiced into Karkarov, as per another question], then it is reasonable to assume/infer that the required Confundus charm conveyed the following information to the Goblet of Fire: (1) There are FOUR schools competing in the Triwizard Tournament; (2) Harry Potter is in fact a member of the fourth school; and (crucially) (3) The person currently submitting Harry Potter's name is also a member of the fourth school [note: the submitter cannot claim to BE Harry Potter, because then the magical contract would force -the submitter- to compete in the tournament].

None of this is explicitly backed by canon, of course, but the possibility of this is so supported.

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    Where is the possibility of this "so supported"? – Alex Aug 9 '18 at 17:47
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    I assumed it picked the most puissant witch or wizard from each school. In a pot of one, Harry met that requirement – Valorum Aug 9 '18 at 18:02
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    Crouch Jr was polyjuiced into Karkarov when he submitted Harry's name? When was this said? – Arcanist Lupus Aug 11 '18 at 1:57

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