Meet the fast food worker who is now Excel spreadsheet world champion

Seventeen-year-old John Dumoulin is crowned 2017 Microsoft Excel world championAP

The Excel spreadsheet is the pinnacle of mundane office life, yet some people think it is exciting enough to stage world championship competitions to show off their cell-filling skills to earn big bucks.

A 17-year-old fast worker from the US can now lay claim to being the greatest Microsoft Excel user on the planet after finding the right formula to beat international competition and take home a $7,000 (£5,375 €5,925) prize and an Xbox games console.

John Dumoulin from northern Virginia, USA, became the first American in the competition's 16-year history to win the title at the 2017 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships in California.

Advertisement

The high school student found his way into the competition by accident after achieving the highest proficiency score in his home state during a Microsoft Excel 16 certification exam he took during an IT class. He was awarded $3,000 and a place in the competition amongst some fierce spreadsheet rivals.

"Some of the foreign countries, they've been training for hours and hours and hours on end," Dumoulin said. "When you first meet the international students, everyone's friendly, but when they find out you're competing against them in the same category, they get this fire in their eyes. They want to win."

About 560,000 competitors from 122 countries took part in different challenges across all Microsoft Office products including PowerPoint and Word but the Excel competition is regarded the toughest as it involves crunching complex data and analytics.

For Dumoulin to win the prize, the part-time fast food chicken restaurant worker had to take real-world data scenarios and translate them into the software in the least amount of time.

The teen took winning all in his stride saying he uses the software in his spare time to organise the stats of his favourite baseball team, the LA Dodgers, and hopes to one day put his skills to use in a business environment or even employ the data analytics for a baseball team akin to the number-crunching that inspired the book and movie Moneyball.

A UK entry achieved a podium position in the competition when Sam Millar, from University of St. Andrews, took 2nd place in the Excel 2013 category walking away with a medal and a cash prize of $3,500.

Advertisement
© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.