Oakland holds first district-wide math bee

OAKLAND, CA

At first there were 20 students participating in the spelling bee-like contest -- all champions from their own schools.

One by one they went down until there were just two.

The winner's purse was a $100 target gift certificate.

It was a very difficult math problem to solve: 874 multiplied by seven.

But there could only be one winner; that honor went to eight-year-old Jordan Phal from Allendale Elementary School. Phal says he actually, really likes math.

"It's easy for me; I study math and I learn new facts," Phal said.

There were no sore losers at the math bee.

"I can't believe I won second place and all those people who are out in my family I just want to say 'hi,'" second place winner Skye Evans said.

So just what exactly does a third grade math whiz buy with a $100 gift certificate?

A calculator?

"No, I don't want to cheat," Phal said.

He does not know yet, but he'll figure it out.

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