May 15, 2017 – Luke Robitaille, a home-schooled 13-year-old 7th grader from Euless, Texas is the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Champion, following an intense, elite competition at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Luke Robitaille won the final round of the 2017 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition by answering the question: “In a barn, 100 chicks sit peacefully in a circle. Suddenly, each chick randomly pecks the chick immediately to its left or right. What is the expected number of un-pecked chicks?” He gave the correct answer, 25, in 0.9 seconds. As National Champion, Luke Robitaille is the recipient of the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert College Scholarship and a trip to U.S. Space Camp.
Luke Robitaille entered the competition finals as the first-ranked competitor in the Countdown Round, during which the 12 Mathletes® with the highest written test scores competed in head-to-head matchups for the title of 2017 National Champion. Seventh grader Andrew Cai, 13, of Sugar Land, Texas, was the Countdown Round Runner-Up. The semifinalists were: Jack Albright, a 7th grader from Los Altos, Calif., and William Wang, an 8th grader from Princeton, N.J.
In the team competition, Texas captured the title of First Place Team. Team members include Andrew Cai, 7th grade; Luke Robitaille, 7thgrade; Justin Xiao, 8th grade; Jeremy Zhou, 8th grade. The New Jersey state team took second place, and the California team placed third.
This is the ninth year that Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has served as title sponsor of the MATHCOUNTS National Competition as part of its global commitment to science, technology, engineering and math education.
“These Mathlete competitors demonstrated a mastery and enthusiasm for the subject that is both impressive and inspiring,” said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. “Their passion is infectious, and it gets you excited to think about the great breakthroughs they will someday achieve as the next generation of STEM innovators and professionals.”
Luke Robitaille was among 224 competitors from all 50 states, plus U.S. territories and schools that serve the U.S. State and Defense departments who traveled to Orlando after earning a spot in the national competition. More than 100,000 students participated in the local and state competitions that led to this weekend’s event. This year’s competition was the 34th in the MATHCOUNTS Foundation’s history.
“Every year these outstanding students show us how far hard work, perseverance and passion can take you,” said Lou DiGioia, executive director of MATHCOUNTS. “I congratulate Luke and can’t wait to see what he and the 223 other national competitors go on to accomplish in the future.”