From the Super Mario Wiki
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In the original Nintendo 64 release, every course has a Silver Coin Challenge, where the player's objective is to collect eight Silver Coins and win in first place. Many of the Silver Coins are well hidden or located off-track. The player can only participate in a world's Silver Coin Challenges after winning against the world boss in a race, and by having enough Golden Balloons to re-enter the respective courses. After completing a Silver Coin Challenge, the player wins a Golden Balloon.