2014 USA Memory Championship Results

Today was the 2014 USA Memory Championship in New York City. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but here’s a quick overview of the competition based on the official schedule and social media updates:

(Check back on this page for updates coming as soon as more news is available…)

Names and Faces Memorization

In Names and Faces, competitors have just 15 minutes to memorize over 100 names and faces.

Speed Numbers

After Names and Faces came Speed Numbers where competitors memorize as many random digits as possible within five minutes. Give it a try yourself on this page. The US record is 303 digits in five minutes.

Poetry Memorization

There are then 15 minutes to memorize a poem word for word with exact punctuation and capitalization.

Speed Cards

In this event, competitors race to see who can memorize a shuffled deck of playing cards the fastest. The US record of 63 seconds is held by Nelson Dellis, but at least several of the competitors, including Nelson, can do the feat in well under a minute during practice and at other competitions. Update: Johnny Briones broke the US record for speed cards at the competition! The new record is 60 seconds.

Memorable American Award

2x USA Memory Champion, Ron White, was a guest speaker. He was also given “the first ever USA Memory Championship Memorable American Award” during the intermission.

Final Rounds

The top eight competitors in the initial rounds go to the finals. In 2014, the top eight finalists were: Nelson Dellis, Alexander Mullen, Livan Grijalva, Brad Zupp, Lance Tschirhart, Johnny Briones, Patrick Walsh, and Michael Mirski.

Update: there’s also a writeup on the official USA Memory Championship website, and some videos in the forum.

The final rounds are based on elimination and there are three parts:

Random Words

Competitors have to memorize up to 200 random words in 15 minutes. Then they go on stage and call out the words in turn. It’s instant elimination if you miss a word, so this narrowed the finalists down to Nelson Dellis, Alexander Mullen, Livan Grijalva, Lance Tschirhart, and Michael Mirski. Click here to see how many words you can memorize in 15 minutes.

Tea Party Guests

Five strangers come up on stage and the competitors have to memorize their names, faces, favorite foods, phone numbers, addresses, hobbies, cars, and more. You can try the memory feat yourself by clicking here. Give yourself 15 minutes to memorize all that information. If you make three mistakes, you’re eliminated from the finals!

During the “Tea Party Guests” event it was narrowed down to just three mental athletes: Lance Tschirhart, Alexander Mullen, and Nelson Dellis.

Double Deck of Cards

The Tea Party Guests event narrows it down to just three finalists. This year it was Nelson Dellis, Lance Tschirhart, and Alexander Mullen. They have just five minutes to memorize two decks of cards. Then they go on stage and recall the order of the decks until two competitors miss cards and are eliminated!

The 2014 USA Memory Champion

Congratulations to the new USA Memory Champion, Nelson Dellis! He also won in 2011 and 2012.

Update: there’s a write up Nelson’s blog.

See the official agenda page for more details. You can also read more USA Memory Championship news.

If you want to learn how to perform these memory feats, join our free memory techniques forum and we’ll send you an email with some tips on how to get started!

Congratulations to all the competitors!

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