15-year-old Brit wins Microsoft Excel World Championship, will buy flute with winnings

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Rebecca Rickwood, a fifteen-year-old from Cambridgeshire, England who is better at math than you or me, edged out seventy-eight other finalists from an original group of 228,000 competitors to take home first prize in the Excel 2007 category at the 2011 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office in San Diego. And no, this is not an Onion story. Rebecca had previously achieved the highest score in the U.K. on her qualifying test, nailing a perfect 1000 out of 1000, and earned $5000 for her stunning win in the competition for students ages 13-23. She plans on buying a flute with part of her winnings.

The competition involved timed tests in which competitors had to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. I can't confirm whether Rickwood gloatingly exclaimed, "Bite it Lotus 1-2-3" upon learning of her victory, but I can tell you that she was the only non-Asian winner at the competition, with four other Excel, Word, and Powerpoint categories taken down by Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, and Taiwanese participants.

Rebecca's Microsoft Excel coach, Pam Kitchen, a Microsoft Excel trainer at her school, was over the moon about her pupil's triumphant moment. She enthusiastically stated, "Her father phoned me to tell me the news. I don't know who was more excited, him or me!" Today Excel 2007, tomorrow Outlook and Powerpoint!