TRENTON, N.J. - Students from seven Mercer County high schools will compete in the 21st annual NJ High School Consumer Bowl on Thursday, March 2, at 9 a.m. at the Stone Terrace, 2275 Kuser Road, Hamilton. Snow date is March 9.

Defending champion Steinert High School, Ewing High School, Hamilton High School West, Hightstown High School, Hopewell Valley High School, Nottingham High School and Trenton Central High School will vie for this year’s Mercer County title. The winner will move on to the Central Jersey Regional Consumer Bowl.

The Consumer Bowl features a game-show format to test students’ knowledge of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act, consumer rights and responsibilities such as the purchase of new and used vehicles, investment schemes, home improvement fraud, credit protection, and general knowledge of consumer protection laws and regulations.

“This event is a great opportunity for students to gain knowledge they can use to become smarter consumers,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “Information is your best defense against consumer fraud.”

Anthony Brennan, New Jersey Consumer Affairs investigator and Union County TV personality, will serve as moderator for the Mercer County competition and Mercer County Consumer Affairs Chief Donna Giovannetti will serve as referee. Judges will be County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello, County Surrogate Diane Gerofsky, Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Cook, Sheriff’s Office Detective Jason Salvatore, retired Investigator Joanne Frank and Assistant County Counsel John Maloney. Retired Detective Michele Russell will serve as scorekeeper and Mercer County Weights and Measures Inspector Rebecca Shaw will serve as timekeeper.

The Mercer County competition is held by the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs, in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Mercer County office handles complaints from individual consumers against local businesses. It protects Mercer County residents from fraudulent and unconscionable business practices. It also provides consumer counseling and complaint resolution services to Mercer County residents. In contrast to the Better Business Bureau, which charges a fee for consumers to file a complaint and has no legal authority or power, the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs never charges a fee for any service rendered to consumers. The Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at (609) 989-6671.