Bottom line: We’ve seen plenty of stories about teenagers becoming the best in the world at a particular game, but for 15-year old Kevin Dimaculangan, the likes of Street Fighter or Overwatch aren’t his titles of choice; it’s Microsoft Excel.
Most people might be surprised to learn that there's an annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. As reported by CNN, 760,000 candidates from around the globe enter in the hope of winning one of the $7000 grand prizes available in each category.
Students aged between 13 and 22 worked their way up through local and national competitions to reach the final round in Orlando, Florida, which saw 152 competitors from 51 countries gunning for the top prizes. Entrants pick from the 2013 or 2016 versions of Word, PowerPoint or Excel, making a total of six champions.
Kevin, who studies at Dunbar High School in Lee County, Florida, has gained a number of certificates in different Microsoft Office products through Dunbar's Academy for Technology Excellence program.
The competition involved creating Excel files from a set of data, with the winner being whoever creates the most accurate project.
"Time doesn't really matter because pretty much no one gets to finish," he told CNN. "The main point is being accurate."
Not only is he a wizard with Microsoft’s spreadsheet program, but Kevin also has a few other talents. “I also compete in math and piano and have been quite successful,” he told Hello SWFL.
Competing with students from as far afield as New Zealand and Hong Kong, Dimaculangan was the only American to win one of the six categories.
Looking forward, Kevin said he already has a job offer but is focusing on school and gaining more certificates. Now that he’s learned pretty much everything there is to know about Excel, he could turn his eye toward competing in the Word or PowerPoint categories.