London's Queen Mary's University has extended the TV game show-inspired technology competition for Computer Science university places.
Aspiring programmers were offered the chance to win prizes worth £25,000 with a scholarship for a Computer Science degree at the university and a guaranteed interview for a possible work placement at Microsoft.
The closing date has been extended to 25 June.
The competition is in three parts: multiple choice questions; 10 complex mathematical questions; and the creation of a computer program to solve a yet to be announced problem.
Dr Peter McOwan, of the Department of Computer Science at Queen Mary's, said that there are "more geeks than we thought".
Sixty-five competitors have been guaranteed places in the final, with 100 per cent correct answers at stage two. Another 140 candidates with less than 10 out of 10 are waiting to see whether they can go on.
"We did not expect 65 people to get 10 out of 10 in the second stage and only thought there would be about 30 finalists at a high guess," said McOwan.
The university is now planning to re-run the competition next year, and has had approaches from other universities interested in similar competitions.
The exercise has been praised by Stephen Timms, e-commerce minister, for fitting into the government's wider participation agenda, according to McOwen.
"Stephen Timms even answered a question from stage one and two when asked, showing that he knows his IT," he said.
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