FOUR Portsmouth Grammar School students have been crowned Young Consumers of the Year at a top national quiz competition.
The streetwise team of 17-year-olds saw off competition from across the country during the final in Bournemouth to take home the overall title and a top prize of £1,000 for their school.
A University Challenge-style panel quiz tested the students’ consumer skills and knowledge in areas such as money and finance, government and the economy, safety and the environment, and consumer credit.
Team member Chris Hall, from Gordon Road, in Southsea, said each of the team specialised in a specific area of the topic.
‘There were about 100 people watching the final,’ he said. ‘It was pretty nerve-wracking at first, but when the adrenaline got pumping we all settled down.
‘It helped that with the bright lights we couldn’t really see the audience anyway.’
The four team members received advice and training from Portsmouth Trading Standards ahead of the big final, but said they were still shocked when they came out on top.
‘The whole thing was just completely surreal,’ said Jack Finnamore, from Lock Lane, in Birdham, near Chichester. ‘The team we were against in the final were really good, so we didn’t expect to win.’
Max Jewell, of Bruce Road, in Southsea, added: ‘In the first rounds it was a bit of a laugh, but we started taking it more seriously later on and it was amazing to win overall.’
His team mate Will Morgan, of Lymbourn Road, in Havant, said: ‘At first we had no idea we’d won because the score was on a board behind us.
‘Then someone said congratulations, and that’s when it started to sink in.’
Hundreds of schools and youth groups from across the country took part in the Young Consumers of the Year competition, which was organised by the Trading Standards Institute.
It invited teams of four aged between 14 and 18 years old to compete in a knock-out quiz that has links to several different areas of the national curriculum.
The News’s consumer expert Richard Thomson, who was a question-setter for the competition, said: ‘This is a fantastic result for the school, the contestants, and their teachers.
‘It has probably never been more important to help young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to become smart, confident and responsible consumers who know their rights and where they stand if anyone tries to rip them off.’