Texting Championship: Austin Weirschke wins US’s fastest texter title
Austin Weirschke, a teenager from Wisconsin, has out-tapped the competition to hold onto the title of being the US’s fastest texter.
Austin Weirschke, 17, beat 10 other competitors at the sixth National Texting Championship held in New York.
Contestants had to do one task with their vision blocked and another with their hands behind their back.
Austin Weirschke said he planned to put the $50,000 prize money towards paying for his college education.
The competition – which is sponsored by LG Electronics and featured one device with a physical keyboard – put three skills to the test: accuracy, speed and dexterity.
Two of the tests were straight-forward – memorizing and then typing phrases as quickly as possible, and translating text abbreviations into “regular speak” such as TTYL (talk to you later).
But others were more challenging, including writing words backwards – or text sdrawkcab as the round was dubbed – and having to tap out the words to the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star within 45 seconds while wearing darkened glasses that blocked the competitors’ view.
The champion said he typically sent 500 texts a day to his friends, but attributed his success to added practice with his mother.
The writer Malcolm Gladwell once wrote that studies suggested that it typically took 10,000 hours – or 417 full days – of practice to become an elite performer.
This suggests that despite Austin Weirschke’s proficiency, he still has room for improvement.