A member of the winning team in The Blade's school stock contest this year was too young to enter The Blade's Stock Market Game, but he selected his father's portfolio.
Now, Waterville area farmer Keith Hannewald is in first place, five months into the year-long adult contest. His hypothetical portfolio was at $67,175 at the end of May, up 68 percent and $800 ahead of the next contender.
"I should listen to his advice more often, I guess," Mr. Hannewald said of his son, Mike, 14.
The adult contest, with 1,200 entrants who each started with a hypothetical $40,000 portfolio, has a first-place prize of $100 in cash and two round-trip tickets next year to anywhere in the continental United States.
The trip is provided by Central Travel of Toledo, a contest co-sponsor. Second-place prize is $300 cash and third place is $200.
Each contestant had to choose two New York Stock Exchange and two Nasdaq stocks trading above $5 a share by year's end, and each selection was allotted a hypothetical $10,000. The portfolio gaining the most value this year will win.
Last month, a quarter of the game's top 20 portfolios held stock in beverage marketer Hansen Natural Corp., which went up 40 percent, said David Sattler, financial adviser for the Toledo office of Smith Barney, a contest co-sponsor and tabulator of results.
"That was a big boost," Mr. Sattler said.
Yet another beverage company, Jones Soda Co., has helped propel Mr. Hannewald's hypothetical portfolio. Stock in Jones Soda has gone up 98 percent in the first five months of this year, second in Mr. Hannewald's selections only to The Andersons Inc.'s 140 percent jump.
Two other agriculture-related stocks, Deere & Co. and Monsanto Co., round out his selections.
Mr. Hannewald was in sixth place at the end of April. That month's leader, Kenneth "Jim" Gilbert of Sylvania, was in third place at the end of last month with a portfolio valued at $64,271.
Among the four challenge portfolios, which are not eligible for prizes, The Blade's dartboard was in first place at $45,305, up 13 percent. Only one other challenger is in the black.
The other top 10 contests through May were:
Sean Hughes, St. Louis, with a portfolio of $66,366; Michelle Lynn Horn, Toledo, $64,174; Barb Camick, Holland, Ohio, $64,134; Harold Wagner, Waterville, $63,191; Nelson Polack, Ravenna, Ohio, $62,372; Dianne Jacobson, Findlay, $62,319; Anneke Frank, Toledo, $61,993; and Tim Camick, Holland, Ohio, $61,920.
Contact Julie M. McKinnon at: