State High sophomore Kyle Hynes is taking home $5,000 for his first-place finish in the Draw the Lines PA’s youth division.
The 15-year-old said he’ll be practical with the winnings.
“Probably put it away for college and just further in life," Hynes said. "I don’t have as much of a need for it right now.”
The competition asked participants to submit maps outlining congressional districts. Contest organizers announced the statewide winners Wednesday during a ceremony at the Capitol in Harrisburg.
Project Director Chris Satullo said Kyle’s map was one of a kind.
“Kyle Hynes’ map is kind of a comet that went across the sky that we weren’t expecting," Satullo said. "But the fact that a sophomore at the high school could do such a wonderful map says a lot.”
A Penn State geography class also secured a first-place statewide finish in the higher education category.
Professor Chris Fowler and his students used unique methods, including surveying to them at Penn State football tailgates, to directly ask citizens what they wanted in elections.
“It’s impossible to get it right or perfect, but doing something is actually well within our grasp,” Fowler said.
The final category, the adult division, was won by a political consultant from Drexel Hill, Philip Hensley.