West Jordan's Majestic Elementary School sixth grade math class and its instructor, Barry Accordino, have won the spring Stock Market Made Easy Game, sponsored by the Deseret News, with a whopping 42.31 percent gain in their "virtual" stock portfolio.

Louise Lochhead's advanced accounting class at Davis High School took second place in the spring game with a 34.19 percent increase in their portfolio.The Majestic class was given a check for $100 and the Davis class $50 for their efforts.

The results dramatically illustrate the volatility of the stock market, said Carolyn Dickson, manager of the Deseret News Newspaper in Education department.

She noted that the winner of the game last fall, an Olympus High School class taught by Jan Creveling, came in first with a gain of only 4.57 in their portfolio, while Char Ince's fourth grade class at Jim Bridger Elementary took second place with a 3.85 percent gain.

"Those two classes were the only ones to make money at all last fall," Dickson said. "All the other contestants lost money on their stocks."

The fall winner would have been good for only 11th place in the spring game.

In addition to the Deseret News, the stock market game is co-sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education and the Utah Council on Economic Education. The game was held over an eight-week period

The basic game is based on students investing an imaginary $10,000 in a portfolio of 10 stocks, tracking the profits and losses in the newspaper over eight weeks, then "selling" all of the shares to determine how much money would have been made or lost if the investments had been real.

A more advanced version of the game allows students to invest $25,000 in 10 companies. After the fourth week, they have the option of keeping all the stocks in their portfolio, trading some of them, or selling all their shares and buying a new group of companies.

Again, after eight weeks, all shares are sold to determine the winner. The teams have the option of investing either $10,000 or $25,000. Dickson said most teams choose the $25,000 option.

The Majestic Elementary's portfolio scored five-figure profits on its shares of Gold Standard and America West. Only one of their 10 stocks lost money.

The Davis High class had a $9,230 profit on Dynagen, but had small losses on Hershey and Bio-met.

The fall 1998 Stock market Made Easy II game is scheduled for October and November. Teachers who would like their class to participate may contact NIE at 1-801-237-2172.