1. ITV Report

17-year-old becomes 'fastest texter in the West'

Contestants take to the stage in Times Square, New York. Photo: Reuters

A 17-year-old high school student from Wisconsin has won the US National Texting Championship for the second year in a row.

Austin Wierschke won after four elimination rounds at the event in Times Square in New York.

I think it has to do with the pressure on the stage. I think I have it more under control than the other people. I'm not sure. I just have really abnormally fast thumbs.

– Austin Wierschke

Austin won $50,000 after taking the title, which he says will go towards paying for college and he attributes his success to constant practice.

He added: "I just text a bunch of my friends, I look at signs on the road, and stuff like that, and just text that, and see if I can be accurate with that and that's what I do."

The event started with eleven contestants from around the US, all using the LG Optimus Zip phone with a Qwerty keyboard.The runner-up was Kent Augustine from New York City who won $10,000.

The competition tested three skills: speed, accuracy and dexterity.There were three rounds, including texting while blind-folded and texting with hands behind their backs.

The third round was called "text blitz" which involved phrases being shown to the contestants for a length of time as they tried to copy them as fast as they could.