article: by Yahoo! News
"Sudoku, the numbers puzzle that claims 167 million U.S. players, held its first national championship on Saturday, drawing more than 800 people from as far away as California and British Columbia. Organizers said the event attracted a larger crowd than expected, and proved the popularity of the puzzle that has been a fixture in many U.S. newspapers since 2005, after being popularized by The Times of London the previous year.
....The Philadelphia event was won by Sudoku's reigning world champion, Thomas Snyder, 27, who completed the "advanced" section in seven minutes, eight seconds -- about three minutes ahead of his nearest rival -- and took home the first prize of $10,000. Snyder, a postdoctoral student of bioengineering at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and a Harvard University PhD. in chemistry, said he had been playing puzzles including Sudoku since he was 5 years old but had only been into "competitive puzzling" for the last 2 1/2 years. Secrets of his success included "note-taking that's designed for speed," he said, adding that he looked forward to defending his world title in India next year."
Sudoku is super-addicting. I tried it out and was hooked. Time just flies when I'm playing it. If you haven't tried it, just look in your local newspaper. They usually have it in the section where the crossword puzzles are. If you want electronic handhelds (make great holidays gifts), here are some...