Breaking News Emails
Meet 11-year-old Jaxon Cota, who just might be smarter than you.
Jaxon, of McKinney, Texas, has an IQ score of 148, was admitted to MENSA at age 9, and does high school level math for entertainment when he gets bored during the long days of summer.
By two, he was already reading aloud numbers up to fifteen digits long.
"Numbers have always just kinda stuck out to me,” says Jaxon. "There are just so many things about numbers that are fascinating and so many things to learn."
Jaxon’s interest in numbers goes back to when he was two years old. When at a playdate with other toddlers, his mom Lori said he looked past her and said, "78."
She had no idea what he was talking about until she turned around and noticed a thermostat on the wall that read 78.
The mother of two was amazed when Jaxon piped "350," the number on her oven.
It was then that he started reading numbers up to fifteen digits long.
Nowadays, Jaxon competes in math competitions. He was near perfect at MathCON, a national math competition for students in grades 5-12, coming in seventh after ousting some 45,000 students.
"There’s a rhythm to numbers," said Jaxon’s father, Matthew Cota. "And just something about that is, in a weird way, very simple for him."
Jaxon’s passion for numbers may also help explain the centerfielder’s love for baseball.
"There is just naturally a lot of thinking that’s involved with it," he said. "There’s statistics and where you have to be on each play."
In his spare time, Jaxon spends hours working on Rube Goldberg machines that he eventually sends tumbling down the steps of his home. He sees it as a metaphor for life.
"You make mistakes along the way, you repair, and then at the end you already see the final result," he said.
Jaxon has the talent and intelligence to be skipped multiple grades, and even enter college. But for now, he just wants to be a kid.
"It’s not something that I’d want to do, because I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love like play baseball or hang out with my friends," he said.
When school starts in the fall, Jaxon will begin the sixth grade, where he'll be getting special instruction to keep him challenged. His parents say it’s important to them he grows up with his peers.
"Kids that are profoundly gifted are pigeonholed to be one way," said Lori Cota, Jaxon’s mom. "He’s four years old and he can read, he can do all these things, but he can’t tie his shoes. There are things in every grade level that you need to learn."