Special Photo: Ava Gude of Conyers could be the nation's fastest texter. She'll find out Wednesday.
COVINGTON -- Ava Gude of Conyers will find out if she has the fastest texting fingers in the nation on Wednesday, when she competes in the LG U.S. National Texting Championship in New York.
Gude, 17, is a recent graduate of Rockdale Magnet School and was selected as one of 11 contestants to compete in the event after successfully completing several qualification rounds. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000.
"I never really thought I'd get this far, but here I am," Gude said, adding that she decided to sign up for the competition after seeing an ad on MTV because, "I text all the time and my family is like, 'Put the phone down.'"
Gude and the 10 other contestants from across the country will be put through a series of challenges to determine who should be awarded the fastest texter title. In past years, those challenges have included texting while blindfolded and texting words or phrases backward, said Jacob Nahin, a spokesman for LG Mobile. The contest will take place in Times Square.
Gude has never been to New York but has family there that she plans to visit and is looking forward to sightseeing and doing some shopping while there. Should she be the victor, she plans to use the money to pay off student loans, she said. Gude, the daughter of Stephanie Nunez, plans to attend Campbell University in North Carolina and major in pre-pharmacy.
LG Mobile held the first U.S. National Texting Championship in 2007. The contest is open to those age 13 and older.
"As a leading provider of mobile devices and a pioneer in texting, the championships are a fun, creative way for LG to reach out to the nation's texters," Nahin said.
LG is also teaming with Cartoon Network to prevent bullying across the nation, with the partnership to kick off at the Aug. 8 texting competition. A special "Text for the Cause" round will encourage people across the country to pledge support for Cartoon Network's Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign by texting "Join LG" to 27777. For every text pledge, LG will donate $1 to fund the network's distribution of bullying prevention tool kits for middle and high school students throughout the country.