The math master

Edward Wan, 13, triumphs at Raytheon MATHCOUNTS competition

Edward Wan, 13, of Bellevue, Wash

Edward Wan, 13, of Bellevue, Wash., gives a thumbs-up to Luke Robitaille, 12, of Texas, after winning the 2016 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition Countdown Round. This is the 33rd MATHCOUNTS National Competition, and the eighth with Raytheon as the title sponsor.

What's left over when you divide 999,999,999 by 32?

The answer is 31, and seventh-grader Edward Wan figured it out faster than you could read it.

Wan, 13, of Bellevue, Washington, answered the question in an astonishing 6.95 seconds, earning him the title of 2016 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Champion. He triumphed over 11 similarly skilled competitors in the competition's Countdown Round, an intense and exciting game-show-style tournament.

"(It's) pretty amazing to win MATHCOUNTS because after all this preparation, even when I didn't expect to win, it all paid off," Wan said.

Wan will receive the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert College Scholarship and a trip to U.S. Space Camp. The Countdown Round runner-up was sixth-grader Luke Robitaille, 12, of Euless, Texas. Semifinalists included eighth-graders Jason Liu of Reno, Nevada, and Ben Kang, of Falls Church, Virginia.

Wan's victory prizes also included a trip to New York, where he appeared on "Live with Kelly and Michael" and bested hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan – as well as the audience – in a head-to-head math matchup.

Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Champion Edward Wan

Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Champion Edward Wan and his mother, Naiqiu Zhang, pose with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on the set of "Live with Kelly and Michael." Wan defeated the hosts and the audience in a friendly head-to-head math contest.

In the team competition, the Mathletes from Texas captured first place. All four members of that team qualified for the Countdown Round, marking a first in MATHCOUNTS history. The team from California took second place, and the Washington state team placed third.

A total of 224 middle-school math students took part in this year's competition, held in Washington, D.C. This was the 33rd MATHCOUNTS National Competition and the eighth with Raytheon as the title sponsor. Raytheon supports MATHCOUNTS as part of a broader initiative to promote education in science, technology, engineering and math.

"MATHCOUNTS national competitors are the next generation of innovators who will develop technological advancements we can't yet imagine," said Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy. "We are proud to foster and celebrate the hard work, commitment and perseverance these students demonstrate through academic excellence."

This year's competitors advanced from a field of more than 100,000 students who participated in qualifying rounds at the school, local and state levels.

"I congratulate Edward and the rest of the 223 outstanding competitors. They have shown extraordinary talent, desire and determination throughout the entire MATHCOUNTS Competition Series," said Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS. "It is the students' drive and commitment to the subject that is such an inspiration to us."

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Published On: 05/02/2016
Last Updated: 01/26/2018