Iowa Teen Wins Top Texting Award
The nation's fastest thumbs belong to a Des Moines, Iowa, teenager who won the title of text-message titan and a check for $50,000 Tuesday.
Kate Moore, 15, can type and send text messages from her cell phone without looking.
But it was her ability to do it fast and flawlessly that impressed judges and sponsor LG Electronics at the U.S. National Texting Championship in New York.
Her title-winning text message was the first stanza of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," a song from the 1946 Disney film "Song of the South."
"I was so nervous last round," she said. "I was crying on stage."
Kate beat out 250,000 people for a spot in the championship.
Her digit dexterity topped that of 21 contestants, ages 14 to 21, in the final face-off Monday and Tuesday.
The two-day text-off tested speed, agility and concentration.
Competitors translated cell phone lingo - "OMG" means "Oh my God" - and typed the alphabet blindfolded. Nobody's version was perfect, said LG spokeswoman Jacqueline Johnson.
They also typed text messages on treadmills while foam blocks were tossed at them.
Moore credits years of tuning out two younger brothers for her concentration. She received her first cell phone last October.
"I'm faster than people who've had their phones since fourth grade," she said.
LG promoted the text-messaging tournament, its third, on MTV and online.
Moore signed up and quickly text-messaged her way into the championship.
"She was the fastest in United States," Johnson said.
Teenagers' taste for text messages has spawned concerns about their writing skills, their social skills and more.
Parents who believe nothing good can come out of text messages should consider that Moore will come home $50,000 richer.
"You definitely have to save some for college, but I want to buy a laptop and a Coach purse and all those wonderful teenager necessities," she said.
Moore wrote "I just won $50,000" in a text message to her friends after the competition.
"I didn't want to sound too braggy about it," she said with a laugh.