marysuewilliamscnbc.jpgMary Sue Williams, waitress and former welder from St. Clairsville, Ohio, is the winner of the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge, CNBC announced Friday. Williams, who has never owned a stock, was placed sixth overall in the last ranking, but prevailed after disqualifications resulting from verboten after-hours trading and manipulation of real stock prices for simulated portfolios. She will receive $100,000 upfront and $36,000 per year for 25 years, the Associated Press Reports.
Williams, 46, says she looked for stocks of companies with low debt levels and picked one stock a day to buy.

marysuewilliamscnbc.jpgMeet Mary Sue Williams. She’s a waitress at Undo’s, a restaurant that overlooks Interstate 70 in the sleepy town of St. Clairsville, Ohio, population: 5,057. She enjoys taking care of regulars, and has plenty of them, as she’s been working at the Italian eatery for nine years. She has two daughters, Jenni and Sarah, and a husband named Mark, who works as a cook at the local Denny’s. Mary Sue’s never bought or sold real stock in her life, though she may be the winner of CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge.
Currently in sixth place (Williams says she used the “Warren Buffett approach” and invested in things she knew about: lubricant manufactuerer WD-40 (WDFC) and Crocs (CROX)), there’s a good chance that she’ll be bumped to first place in the fake contest because the contestants ahead of her have proven themselves to (possibly) be lying cheaters who can’t even stop themselves from trying to scam a simulated game on the internet, run by CNBC and promoted by Tim Sykes. So far, nothing’s been said about players 1-5 doing hard time for their misdeeds, but this seems like punishment enough. Mary Sue Williams, we salute you.
The Million-Dollar Waitress [BusinessWeek]

cheatingthestreetdotcom.jpgStock picking contests on the internet are not quite working out. Inadequate security systems allowed cheaters to swindle CNBC’s recent content. And last night the cancelled the first round of its Beat the Street Competition because some contestants had “employed trading strategies to achieve returns that could not be duplicated in the real world.”*
After the jump, you can read the full memo from about the cancellation. But we’re curious about what these “trading strategies” might have been. isn’t giving up the details on these strategies. We’d like to hear what you think.
But to start things off, we polled a couple of our friends for ideas.
“I think the cheaters were trying to exploit irrational spreads between currencies and interests rates without the rest of the world finding out what they were doing,” said a cigar chain-smoker named Jimmy who is mildly obsessed with the collapse of Long-Term Capital.
“Nah. They were definitely trying to listen to some physicist-cum-Quant who had too much access to Excel and tried to use the Riemann Hypothesis to time the energy commodities markets,” said a former Citadel project manager named Trish.
“I’m positive that the plan was to IPO companies using obscure financial valuations based on ‘economic net income’ to reap windfalls,” said guy we’ll just call Steve BlackGuy.
“They were going to invest based on advice they heard on a prominent financial news network between the hours of six and seven in the evening,” said another person who we are making up.
Since you can’t really trade currencies or commodities in the contest, much less IPO a company in the Beat The Street contest, we’re pretty sure none of these are right. And the last is just plain implausible—no one would ever try that idea. So in comments below, we invite you to give us your unworldly trading strategies.
* Disappointingly, the phrase “strategies to achieve returns that could not be duplicated in the real world” has nothing at all to do with the true story, of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.
[After the jump:’s memo.]
Earlier: Insider Trading At CNBC: The Plot Thickens Imperceptibly
[John Carney contributed to this article.]

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