Teen Turns Quick Thumb Work Into $50,000

LG Mobile has announced that 16 year-old Austin Wierschke from Rhinelander, WI is the winner of the fifth-annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship.

LG originated the first-ever nationwide texting competition in 2007 and has returned each year with additional prizes and challenges.

After out-texting the best in the U.S. with his ultimate speed and dexterity, Austin was presented with a check for $50,000 by actress and avid texter, Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical, Hellcats) and was named the 2011 LG U.S. National Texting Champion.

Taking place at the historic Altman Building in the heart of Manhattan, the competition began with the first challenge titled, “Seek & Find.” Using LG DoublePlay devices—exclusively from T-Mobile and complete with its split QWERTY keyboard and dual touchscreens for multitasking—11 finalists were required to find the challenge phrase in a picture gallery and accurately text the phrase. It was announced today, Oct. 27.

The first eight contestants who successfully texted the correct answer moved on to the second challenge, dubbed “Text Blitz.” Contestants were required to text five separate phrases exactly as they appeared on screen.

The six competitors to record the quickest times moved on to join 2010 LG U.S. National Text Champion Brianna Hendrickson for the “Txet Sdrawkcab” round and were challenged to text a phrase that was written backwards as it appeared on screen.

The five contenders that proved to best know their ZYXs were tasked with using the SWYPE function on their LG DoublePlay devices to text a series of phrases while being distracted by a group of enthusiastic cheerleaders.

After a full day of thumb-wrenching competition, it all came down to the final rounds between Austin and two other semi-finalists. The 2011 LG U.S. National Texting Championship came to an end with the “Text in the Dark” challenge and finally the “Text Attack” challenge, which required the finalists to type as quickly and accurately as possible.

Taking on reigning texting champ and Brooklyn native, Brianna Hendrickson, Austin knew he would have to be flawless in order to have a shot at winning the one and only coveted texting title.

“I’m so excited, I can’t believe I actually won,” said Austin Wierschke, the new 2011 LG U.S. National Texting Champion. “It was an honor to make it to New York for the finals and I couldn’t wait to put my DoublePlay to the test at the actual competition. I’m looking forward to competing again at the LG Mobile World Cup and I hope to help take home the title for the U.S.!”

Ready to take the Championship title to the next level, Austin also won the opportunity to compete in the upcoming 2012 LG Mobile World Cup, which will feature texting champions from around the globe.

Austin will represent the United States alongside 2010 Texting Championship winner and 2011 numeric finalist, Brianna Hendrickson, for the chance to bring the U.S. its first World Cup title. Earlier this year, Portugal took the title, winning the second-annual LG Mobile World Cup.

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Rakesh Raman