Pinball machines were all the rage in the 1970s and 80s, which makes it all the more remarkable that the newly crowned pinball world champion wasn’t even a glint in his parents’ romantic eye when the game on which he excelled was at his peak.
Escher Lefkoff is a 13-year-old from Colorado, and he emerged as the winner of the A-Division title at the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association world championships. In addition to earning the crown as world champion, Lefkoff also took home a $7,000 check for his performance.
You can see one of Lefkoff’s best runs above, on a machine that was created in 1980.
Incredibly, Lefkoff wasn’t even the youngest to take home an award from the event. As noted by Compete, the Deadspin website imprint, an 8-year-old (EIGHT!?!) captured the D-Division’s amateur title. That’s not an exaggeration. An 8-year-old won a pinball championship.
There’s a legitimate debate to be had about whether pinball constitutes an actual sport. Regardless, it apparently represents the latest retro fad to be taken over by an entirely new generation, one which may not let go of its reign anytime soon.