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National Number Knockout 2018

We are proud to announce the winner of the 2018 National Number Knockout Competition!

John DiPiazza

2018 National Number Knockout Winner


View top 16 Finalists

Interested students and parents must familiarize themselves with the rule book. For more information download the Free 2018 Rule Book. For more information about submitting a Scouting Video, please visit our National Number Knockout Scouting page.

What is National Number Knockout?

National Number Knockout is a nationwide math competition for students, ages 10-14, that culminates in a national championship for 16 finalists on a cruise and a chance to win $10,000. Students interested in entering the National Number Knockout competition must submit a scouting video to us via YouTube by March 4th. This year’s Scouting Board will be announced to Prime Advantage members on February 1st and to the general public on February 8th. Prime Advantage membership can be purchased until January 31st. For complete rules on how to submit a video and enter the 2018 National Number Knockout contest, please visit the Scouting Videos page on the main National Number Knockout website.

How Is Number Knockout Played?

Number Knockout is played on a six by six grid of numbers. The classic Number Knockout board contains the numerals 1 to 36. However, the game can be played on a wide variety of boards, and players are encouraged to make their very own boards using a creative selection of numbers and patterns for practice. Number Knockout can be played with many different variations to make the game easier or harder. Because it is so easy to modify the game for a variety of players, it is perfect for students of all ages. For a short video tutorial on how to play, please visit the How to Play page on the main National Number Knockout website.

How Does the Competition Work?

Students between the ages of 10 and 14 who excel at Number Knockout, have a chance to enter the National Number Knockout competition, which takes place each spring on a cruise ship. Students submit a scouting video. Winning students receive airfare and a cruise for themselves and one parent. In addition, the hard-working winner of the competition will also receive the grand prize, which is a $10,000 cash award. While Number Knockout is currently played by students enrolled in Classical Conversation’s Essentials program, the competition is open to any and all eligible students. For more information about the competition and eligibility, please visit the Competition Details page on the main National Number Knockout website.

Prime Advantage 3

This year’s Prime Advantage packet has been completely updated. Purchasing a Prime Advantage 3 packet, entitles the purchaser access to the actual boards used in the 2017 National Number Knockout Competition. This packet is specifically geared to the serious competitor, but it is not necessary to purchase it to win. In addition, this packet contains all the Prime 1 and 2 advantages. Our new packet will give you tips from past competitors, examples of variations used in past competitions, new boards that were recently made available to participants in Classical Conversations’ Essentials program, as well as lists of multiplication tables and powers for your student to memorize if they wish. We have included a document called Equation Patterns that will show your student examples of patterns they can use to solve equations. Finally, the “Solve ‘em Backwards” document is designed to give students a chance to solve for the high numbers first, while giving them a space to write out their equations. We are confident that with practice, your student, will be able to use these tools to become a confident and competent problem solver, and we are also confident that this year’s packet will give your students the “Prime Advantage.”

A Game on a Mission

Number Knockout is a fast paced, mental math game with a mission to “Knockout Innumeracy.” While many people are aware that illiteracy is detrimental to our society, few people contemplate the long term effects of innumeracy. According to the 2015 PISA findings, which measures math, science, and reading scores world-wide, the U.S. now ranks 31st among 35 industrialized countries in math proficiency (Barshay, The Hechinger Report). The continuing slide in numeracy skills is concerning for a country that prides itself on our ability to innovate and lead, but Number Knockout is seeking to improve math education in this country by teaching students how to play an easy to learn and highly addictive game.

In addition to knocking out innumeracy by improving students’ mental math abilities, students playing Number Knockout practice speaking and listening to equations. This teaches students innumerable skills beyond mathematics such as accurately speaking the truth, carefully listening for the truth, and graciously defending the truth.


Barshay, Jill. “U.S. Now Ranks Near the Bottom Among 35 Industrialized Nations in Math.” The Hechenger Report, Accessed October 5, 2017.