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Let’s consider if the following use singular or plural verbs:

More than one homeowner (was, were) at the meeting.
More than four tutors (is, are) needed to help me understand math and science.

My answers:

More than one homeowner was present at the meeting.
More than four tutors are needed to help me understand math and science.

As you can see, in a phrase that begins with more than, what follows next determines the verb. So we say:

More than just a few games were needed to make the birthday party livelier.
More than one 1×1 ID photo is required by the Embassy.

Of course, we can just rephrase the sentences and avoid the problem:

I need more than four tutors to help me understand math and science.
We needed more than just a few games to make the birthday party livelier.
The Embassy required more than one 1×1 ID photo.

Here is what Capital Community College has to say:

The phrases “one in [plural number]” and “more than one” always take a singular verb:

One in four dentists recommends this toothpaste.
One out of every five instructors gets this question wrong.
There is more than one reason for this.
More than one lad has lost his heart to this lass.

Please check the great discussions at Capital Community College’s Guide to Grammar and Writing here and here.

Photo credit: Voetbalhumor

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