Computer wizard 3rd out of 1.3 m entrants

A secondary school pupil from Douglas has won a prestigious prize in a wordwide competition run by computing giant Microsoft.

St Ninian’s pupil Adam Drummond, who is 15 and lives at Governor’s Hill, came third out of 1.3 million people in the Microsoft Specialist World Championship, and he netted himself prize money of $1,500 (just over £1,500) in the process.

The finals and award ceremony took place in Florida, with a total of 152 students from 51 countries taking part.

Speaking after the competition, Adam said: ’I felt surprised, overjoyed, happy that the Isle of Man is now a known place to people all over the world.

’Just about everyone at the competition didn’t think it was an actual flag because of how cool it was.

’Overall it was good fun.’

The event compere told the audience: ’If you didn’t know where the Isle of Man was, you do now.’

His computing teacher, Jim Hunter, said: ’We’re all feeling very proud of what Adam has achieved on the world stage and the positive impression he has given of himself and St Ninian’s High School.

’Personally, I’m really hoping that his outstanding performance will inspire other students to keep working hard and take similar opportunities that will no doubt come their way.

’We’d really like to thank David Butterworth and Steph Gregg at the Manx Education Foundation for making this opportunity available to Adam and all the other St Ninian’s students who have successfully completed the Microsoft Specialist qualification.’

In June, Adam, who has just finished year 10, won the national Microsoft Office Specialist competition, which included Ireland and the UK.

This took place at the Design Museum in London, and earned him an all-expenses ticket to the finals at Harry Potter World in Orlando, Florida.

Adam was competing not just against people of his own age but also against university students aged up to 22.

To reach this point, Adam had already fought his way through elimination rounds in the Isle of Man.

To win the UK and Ireland finals in London, he had to beat 40,000 other entrants in tasks which included a team challenge where he worked with other students and then on an individual basis where his accuracy and speed using Microsoft applications was assessed.

Pupils from schools and universities in 116 countries took part in the competition and regional heats were held worldwide.

For his performance in the UK and Ireland final, he was presented with a trophy plus an Xbox 360 computer game console.

Adam was supported in the early rounds by Steph Gregg and David Butterworth of the Manx Education Foundation, as well as by his school.

Mr Butterworth said: ’When MEF set out nearly three years ago to offer free training to all secondary schools on the island we had no idea that it would culminate in Adam’s success.

’He is a huge credit to St Ninian’s school, and the support they have shown to the initiative, and I hope he will serve as an inspiration to many more students on the island to look at signing up in September when we launch the competition for 2019.’

For the time being, Adam has banked the prize money while he decides what to do with it.

’I’d like a MacBook and an iPhone but haven’t got enough for both,’ he said.

Now he’s hoping to meet up with other participants next year.

’Next year’s World Championship will be in New York and all of us have been saying that we want to try and compete again to meet-up.

’It’s amazing how good friends you can become in a matter of a few days and find some common interests.’ he said.