The challange started small, grew, and became international. International or not, since almost everyone shortens the name to NaNoWriMo, it looks like they're stuck with the, now inappropriately localized, 'National' part of the name.
I won NaNoWriMo in 2009 and that project turned into my novel, Gladiator Girl. Winning NaNo (an even shorter, common abbreviation of the name) is not an accurate statement, although, that's the official term. As I said, it's not a contest; it's a challenge. You either complete the challenge or not. Even if you don't complete it, the effort can be rewarding, and useful for getting a stubborn novel project going.
But winning is exciting, and this year I won. Yeah me! (Fist pump! Don't spill that coffee!)
I'm sure some people, remarkably well organized people, win with a good, clean first draft. Not me. I finish with a jumble: a collection of notes, character sketches, some roughed out scenes, and discontinuous runs of dialogue. It's after NaNo---that is to say, now---that I get to begin shaping that jumble into a coherent story.
The project has a working title: "Tilt World". This won't be the final title. It's too dull, and there's a casual video game with that name. I'd love to call it, "The Beautiful and the Sublime", but Bruce Sterling used that title for a novelette I fondly remember reading years ago.