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New Jersey kid is America’s top ‘mathlete’

A 14-year-old New Jersey boy has won the national math contest known as "Mathcounts."
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A jar contains eight red balls, six green balls and 24 yellow balls. In order to make the probability of choosing a yellow ball from the jar on the first selection equal to ½, Kerry will add x red balls and y green balls. What is the average of x and y?

Daesun Yim knows the answer. Friday, he knew more answers than anyone else at the annual Mathcounts competition and walked away with the title.

Daesun, 14, is an eight-grader at Community Middle School in West Windsor, N.J. He beat out 227 other contestants in Arlington, Va., to be crowned the champion on his third try.

Daesun, who will meet President Bush on Monday at the White House, was awarded an $8,000 scholarship, a trip to U.S. Space Camp and a notebook computer, which his coach, Marie Siller, will also get.

Virginia took the team championship, its four members edging the teams from Washington and Indiana to win $2,000 scholarships, trips to U.S. Space Camp and notebook computers.

“These students are the best of the best,” said Gary McDonald, chairman of the Mathcounts Foundation, which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin.

The answer to the winning question, by the way, is five. You need to add a total of 10 red and green balls to even the odds, for an average of five each.