While his fellow teens were winning gold medals across the pond at the London Olympics, Austin Wierschke of Rhinelander, Wisconsin was in Times Square yesterday taking home a whole different kind of prestige: he won LG’s sponsored Texting Championship to defend his semi-official title as “fastest texter in America.”
Wierschke won the same competition—now in its sixth year—in 2011 at the ripe young age of 16. To be fair, this is a competition that should probably be capped at 18.
According to Time, competitor “Kelly Barracato was not surprised that Wierschke won.” “His thumbs were flying,” she said.
But if the prestige of winning LG’s Texting Championship isn’t quite that of winning an Olympic gold medal, the reward money trumps what you get as an athlete.
Wierschke wins $50,000 for his first-place finish, fully double the $25,000 gold medalists win at the Olympics. Plus, this competition happens every year, not every four years. Between his two consecutive wins, Wierschke has earned $100,000 with which he plans to fund a college education. By most counts Wierschke is making out better than most Olympic gold medalists except Michael Phelps. I wouldn’t exactly hold out hope for endorsement deals, but hey, you never know.
If Wierschke is really smart, he’ll ask the GOP to fight for the same tax exemption they’re pushing to apply to Olympic winnings to his $100,000 haul. After all, he did have to do some rigorous training to earn that money: “To practice for the competition, the 17-year-old champion said he sent almost 500 texts a day to his friends,” Time reports.
Image via: S/T