April 18th, 2024

B.C. boy, 9, loves hockey, his rabbit and pi, which he has memorized to 2,030 digits

By The Canadian Press on March 14, 2024.

Lucas Mason Yao from Pitt Meadows, B.C., holds a pie with a Pi sign on it in a 2023 handout photo. Yao has memorized the ratio between a circle's circumference and its diameter to 2,030 digits, far beyond the three-point-one-four that's close enough for most people. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cindy Liu

PITT MEADOWS, B.C. – Nine-year-old Lucas Mason Yao loves the Vancouver Canucks, his pet bunny Chomp and pi, the mathematical constant that’s celebrated every March 14 around the world.

Yao, from Pitt Meadows, B.C., has memorized the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter to 2,030 digits, far beyond the 3.14 that’s close enough for most people.

The feat that he achieved last year took 23 minutes to recite and earned him 115th place on the world ranking for pi memorization, a list that’s topped by a man from India who has memorized it to more than 70,000 digits.

Yao says he has a good memory and has been fascinated by numbers since he was a baby.

Mother Cindy Liu says Lucas started memorizing pi in 2020 as a way to beat boredom during the pandemic, and he went from 1,000 digits to 2,000 in just a few days last year.

Yao, who is the fifth-ranked Canadian on the world pi memorization list, says he and his family will be celebrating Pi Day with an apple pie.

He’s also an accomplished pianist, playing at Carnegie Hall in New York when he was five after winning the Crescendo International Music Competition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2024.

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