7 year-old wins Doodle 4 Google contest

Google has just announced the winner of the annual Doodle 4 Google competition, which invites K-12 students to create and submit their own design based on Google’s logo.

Congratulations go to the national winner, 7 year-old Matteo Lopez of South San Francisco, CA. His doodle “Space Life” will be featured on the Google homepage all day today.

Matteo's entry was chosen from over 107,000 submissions from all over the U.S. He wins a $15,000 college scholarship, a netbook, and a $25,000 technology grant for his school.

In this fourth version of the annual contest, which began January 19, kids sent entries from all over the country with their hand-drawn renderings of the Google logo. This year's theme was “What I'd Like To Do Someday.” Matteo told NBC’s TODAY program that he was inspired by astronaut Neil Armstrong. His dream is to “meet other people in different planets and go to other planets I haven’t been to.”

Over 5 million votes were cast by the public, which also helped determine the other national finalists, Joseph Miller, grade 4, who drew “My Galaxy”; Justas Varpucanskis, grade 7, who drew “The Majestic Sea”; and Hanna Newsom, grade 11, who drew “Illustration” (pictured below).

Each regional winner received a visit from a Google employee to their school, and were also flown to New York for yesterday's announcement of the national winner. It was Matteo's first time in the Big Apple, and he enjoyed going to the M&M store and Times Square.

Google's doodles, often timed around holidays and anniversaries, have become a popular feature of the Google home page. Google’s in-house doodle team have created over 300 different designs for the U.S., with hundreds more displayed on Google’s international pages.

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