Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge

2016 Challenge Won by Essex High School!

It came down to the wire. Following more than 17 rounds of head-to-head competition, Essex High School emerged as the winner over Mount Mansfield Union High School to win the championship of the 2016 Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge. MMU finished second and South Burlington finished third. The tournament was held March 11 in Montpelier.

View photos of the tournament.

View a video of the tournament.

The State Treasurer's Office holds the annual tournament in Montpelier to promote student interest in and knowledge of personal finance, economics, and consumer affairs topics.This was the eighth year for the statewide tournament. Pictured at right, State Treasurer Beth Pearce congratulates Essex High School on their win. (L to R) Treasurer Pearce, Elena Doty, Caleb Weis, Ethan Harvey, Omkar Borse and coach Charlie Burnett.

Teams competing in 2016 were:

  • Burlington High School
  • Champlain Valley Union High School
  • Essex High School
  • Missisquoi Valley Union High School
  • Mount Mansfield Union High School
  • South Burlington High School
  • Stowe High School
  • U32 High School
  • Windham Regional Career Center
  • Winooski HIgh School

How Does the Challenge Work?

Vermont high schools may enter one team of four students and two alternates who are in grades 9-12. Each high school may enter only one team, but may bring additional students to cheer on their team. It is a bracketed, double-elimination tournament. Using a quiz-show style format, students are questioned individually and as a team. In addition to winning trophies and college savings accounts, the championship team also wins the right to represent the State of Vermont in the semi-finals of the National Economics Challenge. If you have an interest in entering a team for the 2017 Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge and have questions, contact the Treasurer's office at (802) 828-1452.


  • $3,000 first prize, each student receives a $500 college savings account
  • $1,500 second prize, each student receives a $250 college savings account
  • Individual trophies for teams placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd
  • Winning school's name engraved on large gold traveling trophy
  • Lunch is held at the State House

The high school winning the 2016 competition becomes Vermont's State Champion for the National Economics Challenge. If that team successfully passes a follow-up state semi-final challenge exam, that high school will qualify for an all expenses paid trip to compete nationally in New York City in May.


Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge Sponsors

The event is organized and promoted each year by the Vermont State Treasurer's Office. We gratefully acknowledge the event's financial underwriting by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation. College savings account prizes are provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Additional financial support is contributed by the Vermont Jump$tart Coalition. The student grand prize is provided by Community National Bank. Thanks also to VSECU for providing cash envelopes as raffle prizes for the 2016 competition.

What Do Students & Teachers Think of the Challenge?

“As a teacher, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing students get excited
and competing over economics concepts.
I could watch that all day long!"
Essex High School Teacher Charlie Burnett
“This was WHS's first year in the Treasurery Cup and, although we were nervous, it was a heart-racing and
fun educational opportunity for all of us. I'm looking forward to next year.”  
Winooski High School Student Rainbow Chen
"I thought it was an amazing learning experience, with the additional benefit to being a great competitive challenge. I was surprised at how much I learned and that the information I learned was heavily applicable to my future financial life. I really look forward to attending the cup next year."
Windham Regional Career Center Student Matt Dulmaine

"My personal marginal benefit certainly exceeded the opportunity cost of attending
this fantastic and enriching event."
Essex High School Student Omkar Borse

"The Cup is elusive and difficult to capture, but the voyage. . . the voyage will test your mettle."
Mt. Mansfield Union Student Loughlin Neuert

“The Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge provides us the opportunity to put our personal finance and economics knowledge to the test against other students from across the state. The competitive nature of the Challenge always makes for an exciting day.”  
Missisquoi Valley Union Teacher Jacob Hartman

"The Treasury Cup competition put on by the Vermont State Treasurer's Office is one of the purest learning opportunities available covering this material. In addition to putting the content area to use,
the students thrive both individually and collaboratively. A tremendously healthy day of learning.”    
U32 High School Teacher George Cook


What Content Does the Challenge Cover? 

At the start of the competition, teams are placed in competition brackets. It is a double elimination tournament. The majority of the questions are in multiple choice format. Each preliminary competition is organized as follows:

  • ROUND 1: Personal Finance--each team gets four questions in round robin format; correct answers worth 5 pts. each
  • ROUND 2: Economics--each team gets four questions in round robin format; correct answers worth 5 pts. each
  • ROUND  3: Lightning Round--open-ended topics, teams compete directly against each other in timed format

Subsequent matches are modified slightly from the preliminary rounds in that individual questions are replaced with team questions. There is a lightning round.