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Portfolio Challenge Winner Says He Owes It All to Cramer

Dear Jim Cramer,

I won the CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge for the week of March 26, and I owe you a special thank you. I'm 20 years old and a sophomore at Southern Methodist University. I have been watching your show for a year now, I am an avid reader of your blogs, and love your Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio as it has proven a great learning tool for me. Here were my picks for the CNBC Challenge and how you helped me win the week:

Monday, I was all in Biosite. I had watched your show on Sun Microsystems and BSTE (speculative Friday) towards the end of February; genius pick with BSTE. Even though the Bolsheviks had not stormed the winter castle, BSTE got bought out, and Christmas came early as that put my CNBC portfolio up about 50% in one day.

I knew BSTE's upside was exhausted as it was hovering right below the bid. Many variables were running through my head, and they led me to pick New York Stock Exchange, as it would almost certainly go up Tuesday. So I sold all my BSTE and went all in NYX before Monday's close as the anticipation of a short squeeze was growing.

After the market close in the afternoon, I went to a lecture Ron Insana was giving at my school and told him I thought I would be ranked first for the week and gave him my stock pick for the week (NYX) and analysis behind it. I was really disappointed Monday night when I saw that I was not even in the top 10 for the week. I felt like a joker because I told my family, friends, and Mr. Insana I thought I would be ranked, and I was not. However, NYX served me well Tuesday, and I was ranked number two that night!

I decided to stick with NYX before leaving for my calculus class, which goes through the market close, even though many different stocks were going through my mind. I was glad you expounded on NYSE-Euronext's potential synergetic earnings power that night on your show. It surprised me that you did that because I thought you were going to avoid talking about it to bring it up to one of your largest positions in your Charitable Trust. Thank you for caring so much about your viewers, I hope everyone got in because it will almost certainly see par this week.

Despite the large gains NYX gave me Wednesday, that night I dropped down to third place. I stuck with NYX again for Thursday, but NYX was down for the day and I had to make a decision for Fridays' pick before leaving to take my calculus test. My oldest brother, a Harvard Law alumnus like you, urged me to go risky for Friday, being that I was ranked third and was down for the day. I went all in Insituform Technologies (a small-cap with a beta of 1.53), looking for a bounce. They had lost about 23% that day due to warning of less profit along with the announced exit of their tunneling business. The bounce came on Friday and INSU close up 3.95%! I was anxious to see who won the week. I was hitting refresh over and over again after 11 PM. When I saw that I had won, I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement.

I feel it is very important to thank you for all your hard work and all the intelligence, insight, experience, and wisdom you have shared with me. You write and speak about your work ethic. Not only do I admire it, I strive to achieve it. You have taught me so much and have been a great role model for me. I am so grateful.

Sincerely,
John Tepichin

Questions? Comments? madmoney@cnbc.com

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