This past weekend, Facebook held its third annual Hacker Cup championship in its Menlo Park headquarters. The winner of the top prize of $10,000 was Petr Mitrichev from Russia. Interestingly enough, Mitrichev was also the 2011 champion and is the only repeat winner in the competition’s history.

In the Hacker Cup, Facebook brought 26 world-class programmers from across 10 different countries to compete in algorithmic coding challenges to see which one is the best. It started out with 12,000 people from more than 126 countries and one-by-one, they were whittled down to the finalists. The social networking company says countries represented in the finals were Australia, Belarus, China, France, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

While the competition took place over the past two days, it wasn’t all just hard work. Facebook says that the finalists spent two days with its engineering and leadership team and did a little bowling at Lucky Strikes.

Each hacker was given a specific problem to solve and after two hours of hacking, submitted their answers. The correctness of their response and the coding time were used to evaluate which hacker advanced.

In the end, Mitrichev took home the top prize. Poland took second and third place home as Jakub Pachocki and Marcin Smulewicz also placed.

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By now, it’s pretty apparent that Facebook loves hackathons — it’s in their culture. While it’s an internal phenomenon that CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to impart on his team, it has also spread to other parties as well. Last month, 18 college teams visited the company’s headquarters to take part in its annual College Hackathon. Following that, there was a Windows Phone 8 hackathon.

Of course, don’t be fooled — the Facebook Hacker Cup competition was nothing like the scene from The Social Network:

Main header image: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Photo credit: Facebook