NFPA announces NEC Challenge winner

January 30, 2014 – Derek Vigstol of Princeton, Minn., took home a $5,000 cash prize and the title of NEC Challenge Champion on Friday culminating a nation-wide challenge to celebrate the release by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) of the 53rd edition of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®). 

NEC Challenge contestants
From left: Host Butch Sterns from the Pulse Network,
Robert Watkins, Jr. (2nd place), Derek Vigstol (champion),
Joe Brinley (3rd place) & former New England Patriot
Matt Light.

The NEC sets the standard for safe electrical installation and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. It is one of the most widely used codes for the built environment in the world. NFPA has been the developer and publisher of the NEC since 1911. The new edition provides the latest updates to further electrical safety.

“Electrical safety is a serious topic. The NEC Challenge introduced some fun and competitiveness to draw attention to many important elements of the code,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA.

Throughout the fall, electrical experts and professionals across the country were invited to put their knowledge and experience to the test with the launch of the NEC Challenge. This interactive game traveled across the country to electrical trade shows where more than 500 professionals got the chance to prove their superior code knowledge.

The other two competing finalists were Joe Brinley of Roanoke, Va. and Robert Watkins, Jr. of Denver, Colo. All three competed in a live webisode championship consisting of three rounds of gameplay, including a head-to-head final round challenge between the top two contestants for the grand prize.

According to Carli, the competition was incredibly close throughout the three rounds of the event. “After a late rally by Brinley, Round 2 ended in a tie for second place between Brinley and Watkins, Jr., with Vigstol maintaining a first place lead,” she said. To determine who would battle Vigstol in the final lightning round, a tiebreaker was held between the two contestants in second place. Watkins, Jr. eventually won the tiebreaker and moved on to the final round.

Vigstol was able to prevail over Watkins, Jr. and win the NEC Challenge, and the $5,000 cash prize. Watkins, Jr. and Brinley received runner-up prizes of $2,500 and $500, respectively.

Unique to the NEC Challenge event was the inclusion of audience participation. Audience members were able to play along online leading up to and during the event for their chance to enter a grand prize drawing at the conclusion of the championship for a free registration to the upcoming NFPA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Visit to stay up-to-date on new NEC Challenge events coming in 2014.

About the National Electrical Code® (NEC®)
NFPA has been the developer and publisher of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) since 1911. The NEC sets the standard for the safe use of electricity and electrical installations. It is the most widely used code for the built-environment in the world. The 2011 NEC is the 52nd Edition of the code and 2011 will marks 100 years of NFPA sponsorship.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275