LifeSmarts Competition aims to teach students practical life knowledge

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Some people have a knack for knowing so much trivia, they can win tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on quiz shows.

Other more important information may not pay off immediately, but it's a much bigger benefit in the long run. And that's the idea behind LifeSmarts.

You're reviewing your credit card statement, and you see you have been credited $50. Name one reason a credit might appear on your credit card statement.

If you can answer questions like that while still in high school, then you have a place at the statewide LifeSmarts competition, which covers topics from consumer rights to technology.

"I've learned don't jump the gun. You'll probably get it wrong. This is my first time here, so nerves got to be pretty involved," says Chase Brodehl, TGU-Granville.

Nine teams from six high schools attend the event, along with their coaches. They study the materials online, take practice quizzes and do whatever they can to prepare for the real competition.

"They knew a lot of the questions that the other teams got. And a few of the times they're like, 'I knew that answer. Why didn't I buzz in?' So I'm hoping their next round they'll be a little more confident and ready to go," says Jessica Deichert, Flasher Coach.

It's a double elimination, so everyone gets a second chance. And despite the fact that some questions come out of left field, students often step up and shine.

"Well, we want them to learn a lot of practical, useful skills, like information about how to manage their personal finances. We want them to learn information about the environment. We want them to learn information about personal safety, seat belt use," says Parrell Grossman, Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

"I have learned some pretty good study skills from this. You have to do a lot of studying to be successful in a competition like this one," says Nick Mathias, Kindred High School.

The winner in North Dakota moves on to the national finals in Pittsburgh later this year. And today's winners came from Jamestown High School.