Business editor Ron Godfrey 'snowed' in with entries to Supershare.

With less than a week to go Supershare is hotting up into a wild, careering rollercoaster and you had better be on it!

Paul Walton and Matthew Wilson, 17-year-old York Sixth Form College pals, both of Copmanthorpe climbed aboard and now they're clutching on at the very front, white-knuckled and happy with more than 19,000 Supershare entrants trailing in their wake.

With Paul's entry way out on top, they are determined to stay ahead and scoop the end-of-the-month overall first prize of £2,000 or the runner's up pot of £1,000.

Paul has already proved himself to be a Supershare prodigy, having won a bowler hat-trick of daily winner prizes when he entered the competition, aged just 12, in 1992.

He and Matthew spent hours acquiring nearly 200 copies of the Evening Press, then filling in their entry forms. Acting as a syndicate, they filled out each other's names so neither could individually take credit, then sent them off.

Paul, who seemed frozen for days in sixth place while Matthew found himself sandwiched between Sonja Fenning at first place and her husband, Ian, third, suddenly broke free and soared - and boy, did he soar!

His portfolio: Iceland (£5,000), National Grid (£500), Kingfisher, (£4,000) and Spring Ram (£500) took his original £10,000 fantasy money to £12,248.35.

That is £130.22 ahead of nearest rival Mark Brough, 39-year-old printer of Harrington Avenue, York - an astonishing hurdle to have to leap.Yet if anyone can do it, it is Mark whose three entry forms hovered at between 80 and 97 before seemingly vanishing from sight.

It earned Paul the coveted £50 daily winner's prize from Rod Lowery, consultant with Supershare sponsors, Walsh Lucas & Co, the independent financial advisers of Micklegate, York.

Third place belongs to Dudley Williams, 61, who before he retired was head of the works study department of the old TSB office which used to be in Tadcaster Road, York.

Common denominator between most of those who suddenly swirled with the economic tidal forces into the Top 100 was heavy investment in Iceland.

Barrie Bluck, of Leeds stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley, explains: "Throughout this month Iceland has hovered between 148p and 155p, then suddenly it thawed and soared until it reached a new high at 197p on publication of better-than-expected annual results..

"I'm not surprised that the effect was to make a lot of days and break a lot of hearts for thousands of Supershare entrants!

"Although the market as a whole was up 36.7 to close at 5,983 with a good showing from Wall Street, our 32 Supershare plcs showed mixed fortunes."

Meanwhile, Paul and Matthew are celebrating the fact not only that they have six entries in the Top 100, but also that the spoils are evenly shared at three apiece.

Paul said that his successful Supershare efforts as a child were mostly a case of luck. "But this time it's different," he said. "We have a definite system and using it, we covered as many of the computations as possible."

So what was the formula? He smiled. "I'd be crazy to tell," he said.

Footnote: Last of the more than 19,000 is David Brigham of Broom Close, Huntington, who has succeeded in shrinking his £10,000 fantasy investment into a nightmare £9,454.35.

David, 33, who has a family motor engineering firm, said: "I take consolation from the fact that I am a good businessman but a lousy gambler.

"Still, I might have to hide my face whenever I see my friends in the Huntington Sports Club."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.