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Winning formula... Longford Intermediate's year 7 Smac Maths Competition team (from left) Ethan Mackay (12), Noah McGarry (11), Ben Ure (11) and Lucas Hadfield (11) came first out of 34 teams at the event held in Invercargill late last month.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A team of four Longford Intermediate School pupils had the winning formula at this year’s Southland Maths Association Competition (Smac), coming first out of 34 teams.

Longford Intermediate sent two year 7 teams and two year 8 teams to Smac, which was held in Invercargill on September 26.

The winning team consisted of Noah McGarry , Ben Ure, Lucas Hadfield and Ethan Mackay.

Year 7 pupils Noah and Lucas said the team practised for about two weeks leading up to the event.

Lucas said to select the best teams, pupils had to do small individual tests, and teams also competed against each other in class.

There was a total of 40 questions and the team answered 28 questions all together.

All the questions they answered they got correct.

“You have two questions at any one time and you’re allowed as many tries to get them correct as you want .. if you get one correct it’s plus five points, and if you pass on one because you think it’s too hard you get minus five points,” Noah said.

“Instead of skipping one two people would work on one question and two would work on the other and then we’d swap them.”

The team finished with 140 points out of 200, just five points above second-placed James Hargest.

Teams were only given 30 minutes for the whole competition.

“It was quite intense and quiet, it wasn’t that loud,” Noah said.

Lucas said he was excited when he found out the team had won.

Noah said he was a little bit overwhelmed.

“Longford hasn’t won it before,” he said.

“We’re hoping to get another win next year.”

The team received a certificate and a range of prizes for its win, including a scientific calculator and a Paper Plus voucher.