H&R Block’s #HowBigIsABillion Contest Winners Announced!
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H&R Block’s #HowBigIsABillion Contest Winners Announced!

As part of their “Get Your Billion Back, America” national advertising campaign, H&R Block sponsored the "How Big is a Billion?" contest, in which teachers were asked to turn the idea of $1 billion into a math assignment by submitting real-life examples to illustrate the concept. Prizes included classroom grants of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 across three grade tiers: grades 4th-6th , 7th-9th and 10th-12th. To refresh your memory about the contest, you may read my previous post here.

The contest received many creative and fun entries and the winners have been announced on the H&R Block Dollars & Sense Facebook page. Due to a tie at the High School level, H&R Block ended up awarding 10 grants! Let's find out who won--

Emily McDonnell’s class earned the $3,000 first prize for grades 4-6 by equating one billion to a whopping 15,432 years worth of lunch trays at Bonner Springs Elementary School in Kansas.

The winning entry for grades 7-9 was submitted by the students of Billie Watson’s class at Annoor Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee, who concluded that $1 billion equals an hourly salary of $114,115.25 – for every hour of every day for an entire year.

Sports and history buffs will appreciate the winning entry for grades 10-12, as Amanda Bowles’ students at East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia, determined that a billion pitches would be thrown over the course of 1,906 Major League Baseball seasons – or, enough to take our national pastime back to the Roman Empire of the second century.

Other winning representations, by grade level:

Grades 4-6
  • If a back handspring covers 58 inches; a gymnast doing one billion back handsprings would travel around the world 36 times. (Second prize – Kim Gonzalez’ class at Brentwood Elementary School in Austin, TX)
  • Building an indoor igloo takes 207 empty milk jugs collected over three months; in one million years, you could collect one billion milk jugs to build five million igloos. (Third prize - Sharon Mannix’ class at Broome-Tioga BOCES Reclaim at West Learning Center in Windsor, NY)
Grades 7-9
  • One billion, $1 bills stacked on top of each other would reach the equivalent height of 286.6 Empire State Buildings; 1,706 Duke Chapels; 337.1 Eiffel Tours; 131.9 Burj Khalifa Towers or 1,720,000 pizza boxes. (Second prize – Liz Moffitt’s class at Lakewood Montessori Middle School in Durham, NC)
  •  One billion dollars is enough to purchase $20 in school supplies for every public school student in the country, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. (Third prize - Kelley Taylor’s class at Arnold Magnet Academy & Richards Middle School in Columbus, GA.)

Grades 10-12
  • One billion dollars would purchase 752 million packs of sticky notes, enough to cover 10.6 million square miles – or rougly 92 percent of the land area on the continent of Africa. (Second prize - Austin Warner’s class at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO.)

  • Placed end-to-end, one billion, $1 bills would stretch from Los Angeles to New York, 39 times over. (Third prize, tie - Shanna Evans’ class at Olathe East High School in Olathe, KS.)

  • One billion dollars would purchase 10,067,114,093 sandwich cookies, which would require 209,731,544 gallons of milk – enough to fill 318 Olympic-size swimming pools. (Third prize, tie - Giulia Scoma’s class at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, CO.)
H&R Block partnered with WeAreTeachers, an online resource for lesson plans, professional development resources, grants and contests for teachers, to select the finalists. Entries were evaluated on accuracy and creativity, with H&R Block selecting the first prize winners.

H&R Block Dollars & Sense provides educators and students with personal finance curriculum and resources to increase financial literacy among teens. Since 2009, H&R Block Dollars & Sense has awarded teens and educators with more than $4 million in grants and scholarships. For more information, visit hrblockdollarsandsense.org.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of H&R Block.

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