Meet the 17-Year-Old Who Is the Champion of Microsoft Excel
If your company needs a hotshot spreadsheet jockey in a few years time, remember this name: John Dumoulin.
Dumoulin, a 17-year-old incoming high school senior from Northern Virginia, won the 16th annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship (Excel division) in Anaheim, Calif. earlier this month. Excel is Microsoft’s venerable spreadsheet software under the Microsoft Office umbrella. Along with Word and PowerPoint, Excel has been a staple in workplaces for more than 20 years.
Certiport, a Pearson subsidiary for workplace testing and certification programs, announced the winners of the Excel, Word, and PowerPoint categories on Monday. Dumoulin is the first American to win the top Excel prize since the contest kicked off in 2001, although Americans have won in the Word and PowerPoint categories in the past.
Dumoulin took home the first prize of $7,000. Add that to the $3,000 he won for the U.S. finals earlier this year, and that’s not a shabby payday.
The contest drew 560,000 entries worldwide. After an initial test followed by regional and national finals, entries were winnowed down to the 157 people who converged in Anaheim earlier this month. For the finals, contestants—aged 13 to 22—were given a set of tasks and parameters, and the person who created the most accurate spreadsheet in the fastest time took home the top prize.
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Dumoulin got interested in Excel while in middle school when he used it for science projects, but also to track baseball statistics both for the Los Angeles Dodgers—his favorite team—and the Washington Nationals, who play closer to his Dumfries, Va. home.
“I’m a huge numbers guy,” Dumoulin tells Fortune. He started down this competitive path a few years back when he took the Certiport Excel certification test and got the highest score in the state.
Dumoulin says his school uses Microsoft products, and he has also dabbled in Google Sheets, but prefers Excel. He says he’s never even heard of Lotus 1-2-3, the once-dominant spreadsheet IBM (IBM) acquired along with Lotus Development Corp. in 1995.
It’s hard to see where Dumoulin finds the time to hone his Excel skills: He plays varsity baseball, takes advanced placement classes, works part time at a Chic-Fil-A, and is an Eagle Scout. Now he’s in the midst of a college search.
Here’s guessing he’s not going to have a lot of trouble there.