Watch 9th Grader Set Rubik’s Cube World Record in 4.9 Seconds

In less time than it takes to say, “Guinness World Record for un-mixing a standard 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube,” 14-year-old Lucas Etter beat exactly that. The ninth grader from Maryland solved the block puzzle in a mind-melting 4.9 seconds on Saturday — at the World Cube Association-sponsored River Hill Fall 2015 competition in Clarksville, Maryland — making him the first person to break 5 seconds. 

“It was a shock,” the teen told the Lexington Herald Leader about the upset, for which he practiced for five years. “I really couldn’t believe it. A bunch of people just rushed around me.” 

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Etter in action at the cube competition on Saturday (Photo: YouTube).

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His win is fresh off another record-setting Rubik’s accomplishment. Two months ago Etter earned the fastest average time to solve a 2x2x2 Rubik’s Cube at a competition in Nashville: 1.51 seconds. 

“Lucas’ world-record feat has been the culmination of…dedicated practice and determination,” said his mother, Dana Mendenhall-Etter, a computer network administrator for the Fayette County school district. The champ’s dad, Paul Etter is an engineer. 

His gift for spatial relations doesn’t hurt either. The mom recalls her son, at age 3, looking at houses and commenting, “Mommy, those houses are very symmetrical,” she told the Lexington Herald Leader last year. 

But it’s the joy of joining his buddies at the competitions that really keeps the puzzle solving phenom at it. “Speed cubing to me is also [about] socializing with like-minded people and I also really enjoy that,” he told the BBC. Thanks to his passion, he explained, “I have friends from all over the world that’s another fun part about it other than just solving the cube.” 

The champ’s friends celebrated with him on Saturday (Photo: YouTube).

As for how he pulled off that incredible record, Etter simply said he let his fingers fly. “I don’t think about it,” he explained. “I just do.“ 

(Top photo: World Cube Association)

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