Texter, 17, wins $50,000 for having fastest thumbs in the country
On your marks, get set, text!
Wednesday marked the sixth annual U.S. National Texting Championship, where 11 of the speediest texters in the country competed for the title of fastest texter in the U.S. and a grand prize of $50,000 cash. (Yowza!)
It should come as no surprise that the field of contestants was on the young side, 16 to 24 years old, according to a report from the Associated Press.
They had to make it through eight grueling rounds of challenges including texting while blindfolded, translating text speak into normal speak, texting backward, enduring a text-off with the audience, and simply texting test phrases as fast as possible.
The gripping play by play of the contest, which was sponsored by cellphone maker LG Electronics, was listed on the LG Texter Facebook page.
To even the playing field, all competitors were given the same phone to text on, the Straight Talk LG Optimus Zip, which has a QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen.
The grand prize went to 17-year-old Austin Wierschke, who also won last year, making him the first person to win back-to-back titles in the competition.
So just how fast do you have to be to compete in a texting contest? The first runner-up, 16-year-old Kent Augustine, told the New York Daily News that he can text 3.5 characters per second. Another contender, Olivia Flagan, said she texts about 40 words a minute, according to Central Florida News 13.
The view from Sacramento
Sign up for the California Politics newsletter to get exclusive analysis from our reporters.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.