Garage sale discovery leads Louisiana teenager to chase world records

By ROBIN MILLER, the lawyer

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The last time Dylan Miller made headlines was as an 11-year-old kid dreaming of the Rubik’s Cube world records.

He was a student at Baton Rouge Lutheran School, where he was a member of the flag football and basketball teams. Either way, the Rubik’s Cube was always close at hand.

Now, as he kicks off his freshman year at LSU and settles into his dorm at Herget Hall, the Rubik’s Cube is still by his side.

In July, Miller traveled to Toronto for the WCA Rubik’s North American Championship, where he placed fourth in the classic 3-by-3 competition, taking on 500 of the world’s fastest resolvers from 22 countries who came together to participate in the biggest speedcubing competition. since the pandemic.

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He talks about his hopes for a future in radio journalism, as he reaches for the cube in the middle of a conversation. He graduated from Baton Rouge Magnet High School in May, where he was heavily involved in the radio program, and he would like to continue on that path at LSU.

These days, Miller is considering a career in broadcast journalism, but there was some time between graduation and college where Miller had the chance to pursue his speedcubing dreams, heading to competitions. Rubik’s Cube chasing a world record.

Miller’s best time so far is 5.08 seconds. He’s getting closer, but he’s not quite there yet. The world record is 3.47 seconds.

World record or not, watching him twist all six sides of a 3 by 3 cube into solid colors in seconds is nothing short of amazing.

The Rubik’s Cube is named after its creator, Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Emo Rubik, who invented the three-dimensional puzzle in 1974. Rubik licensed the cube for sale by Ideal Toy Corp. in 1980, who released it internationally later that year. . The puzzle became an instant pop culture sensation.

Although the puzzle doesn’t enjoy the same novelty status as it did in the 1980s, it’s still one of those things that everyone instantly recognizes.

A six-sided cube with red, green, blue, yellow, orange and white squares. It’s a Rubik’s Cube, right? Well, that’s the standard variety, anyway. The cube also comes in other varieties, including an octagonal shape, which has its own competitive division, and once scrambled, the trick is to fill each side with a single color.

Miller’s primary mode of competition is the standard 3-by-3 square variety, with nine squares on each side. He discovered the puzzle by mistake.

“It was in 2014,” he says. “My school at the time was having a yard sale and we bought a gym bag full of books.”

And thrown among the books was a colored cube.

“I didn’t know what it was, because I was very young,” Miller said. “I looked it up online and started watching a bunch of videos about it. I was really interested, but it took me a few months to start getting into it and working on it.

Then came Christmas, when Santa Claus left Miller some Rubik’s Cubes under the tree. The kid was already pretty good at solving the puzzle by then, and he entered his first competition in January 2015 in Austin, Texas.

“I was supposed to go to the world championships in the Netherlands in 2022, but unfortunately that was cancelled,” he said. “So my only international competition was in Canada.”

Miller competes in the World Cube Association, where he recently won a second division in the 12-sided cube, called Megaminx.

All the cubes used in competition are different from those sold in the toy departments of department stores. Those used in competition are designed for speed.

Miller has won awards multiple times, but says those awards don’t necessarily involve money.

“That’s not really what most competitions do,” he said. “The World Cube Association is a non-profit organization, so most of the competition money they earn ends up going back to the non-profit organization, as it helps the community grow. So the association doesn’t give out cash prizes, but third-party retailers will sponsor them, and people will get gift cards or certificates, trophies, and other cool stuff to have fun with.

But working the Rubik’s Cube is more than fun for Miller. The practice and competition also gave him confidence, which he applies in other parts of his life.

“Cubing taught me how to improve and stay dedicated to things,” he said. “For me, it’s always been an assurance that if I put something in my head, I can do it. That’s what it really served me for – learning something and improving myself, and self-analyzing to improve myself.

And he made new friends along the way.

“To me, competitions are mostly a social thing, where you meet a bunch of people and talk about things that you’re all interested in,” Miller said. “It really is a great community, and I love being part of it.”

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