The mental fireworks for 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary School Mathematics Television Quiz Show commenced last weekend with Ogun State representatives grabbing the first semi-final tickets of the competition, sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand from Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
This years edition marks the 20th anniversary of Cowbell and Mathematics in Nigeria.
In the junior category preliminary Group A contest last weekend, Loluwa Abiodun and Akinfoluhan Akinleye, both of The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State progressed from the preliminary stage to the semi-finals.
The duo survived the stiff challenge from Victor Dimas of Federal Government College, Ugwolawo, Kogi, State; Tobiloba Akinwande of Greater Tomorrow International Ciollege, Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State; Princewill Olalekan of St Paul Comprehensive Secondary School, Bauchi, Bauchi State; and Ali Uchechukwu Michael of Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State.
Akinfoluhan, son of a banker, recorded 95 per cent in the qualifying examination and pulled 150 points in the second round. He described his experience as exciting and expressed high hope of qualifying for the final and ultimately win the star prize. I feel very happy to scale the hurdle, especially being my first time of participating in the competition. I hope to get to the final. I have done a lot of prayers and practice, he enthused.
Loluwa, 13, had scored 96 per cent in the qualifying examination and amassed 130 points in the second round. The daughter of a College principal, who aspires to become an Architect, hopes to win the ultimate prize and make her family and state proud.
In the senior category, Joshua Mark of Nigerian Christian Institute, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; and Nafisat Abdulwaheed of Reality High School, Ilesha, Osun State survived one tie-break in the first and second rounds to advance to the semi-finals.
In the process, they edged out four other contestants. These are: Esther Ajani of NOWA Secondary School, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Ishaq Ibrahim of Caliphate International Schools, Gusau, Zamfara State; Egbunu Jude Idoko of St. Peters College, Idah, Kogi State and Gift Ike, Federal Government College, Owerri, Imo State.
Joshua, 15, a first timer in the competition, aspires to become a Computer Engineer and harbours high expectation of winning the ultimate prize. I seriously desire to win. If I win, I will keep the money for my education and appreciate people that helped my life especially my teacher and my grandmother, he said.
Nafisat, who is 16 years old, ended his journey at the preliminary stage, two years ago in the junior category. This time however, he is confident of going all the way to the final. This is my second time in this competition. I dropped at the preliminary stage the last time, but I am better prepared now. My expectation is nothing short of the ultimate prize. And, if I win, I will use the money to fund my university education because I want to study Pharmacy, she said.
From this landmark edition, the prize money has been doubled as winners in both categories would receive N2 million each with an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country, while the first and second-runners up will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.
The teachers of the top prize winners will be awarded N500,000, while those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400,000 and N300,000 respectively.
The winning schools will be rewarded with Mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.
The 2018 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematic TV Quiz continues this weekend. It will be aired to millions of viewers on DSTv Africa Magic Channel 154, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.