With more than 5 million votes cast, the anticipation has been building in this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition. Today, the wait is finally over—seven-year-old Matteo Lopez of South San Francisco, Calif. is the national winner with his imaginative doodle, entitled “Space Life.”

Matteo, who attends Monte Verde Elementary School, submitted his design around his dream to “... become an astronaut and explore space life.” Matteo’s doodle of the Google logo artfully depicts a trip to space, walking on the moon, and even making friends with aliens. Matteo has already soared to great heights, rising to the top of the more than 107,000 submissions sent in from all over the country.

Matteo’s use of markers and colored pencils has won him a $15,000 college scholarship, a netbook computer and a $25,000 technology grant for his school. Matteo’s doodle will also be featured on the U.S. Google.com homepage tomorrow, May 20, for millions of people to enjoy.

With more doodles than we’ve ever received before, the crop of designs for this year’s theme “What I’d like to do someday...” was incredibly creative across all grade groups. In addition to selecting Matteo, more than 5 million public votes also helped us determine the three national finalists, each of which will receive a $5,000 college scholarship:
  • Grades 4-6: Joseph Eugene Miller, Grade 4, Andersen Elementary School, Wilmington, N.C., for his doodle entitled “My galaxy.” Joseph says, “I chose to draw this picture because when I grow up I would like to go to space. At night when I look at the stars they persuade me to go to space and explore the stars, planets and our galaxy.”

  • Grades 7-9: Justas Varpucanskis, Grade 7, Mokena Junior High School, Mokena, Ill., for his doodle entitled “The Majestic Sea.” Justas says, “What I'd like to do someday is to take part in the conservation of our underwater universe. There is no doubt the last decades were an environmental catastrophe. The underwater world is a haven for many sea creatures, thus being crucial to our existence. We need to preserve our underwater ecosystem.”

  • Grades 10-12: Hannah Newsom, Grade 11, Glenwood Homeschool, Fayetteville, Ark., for her doodle entitled “Illustration.” Hannah says, “Someday I would like to illustrate storybooks. I want my work to make stories come alive in the imagination with color, and light, and emotion deepening the imagination of the reader, I would want to brighten the world of the viewer and fill it with wonder and delight.”
As part of today’s announcement at an event in our New York office, all 40 Regional Finalists enjoyed doodle classes with our doodle team and mingled with some of this year’s guest judges who helped us select the top doodles. In addition to the fun on their trip to the New York office, all of the top 40 Regional Finalists will have their work publicly displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York through June 16 and at SFMOMA in San Francisco from May 20 through July 19.

Thanks to all of you who voted and helped us select this year's winner. Even more important, thank you to all of the students who submitted entries—it was an especially difficult task to select the winning doodles from among the amazing entries this year. Keep on doodling and we’ll see you next year!