Nicholas Poulos, a 13-year-old 8th grader from Wesleyan School in Atlanta, advanced to the semi-finals at the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee after three grueling rounds of competition. The annual event, which takes place near Washington, D.C. began on May 29 and the nationally-televised semi-final and final rounds take place on Thursday, May 30 and will air on ESPN.
“Ever since 5th grade, it’s always been my dream to make it this far,” Poulos told WXIA on Wednesday. “It’s so exciting. I want to do as well as I possibly can.” In the third round, the Atlanta 8th grader correctly spelled “bureaucracy.”
In 2013, 281 spellers from the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea opened up the National Spelling Bee. The field is narrowed down to 42 spellers. For the first time ever, the spelling contest includes a vocabulary test. Below are some fun facts about the 2013 National Spelling Bee.
- Bee Week 2013 marks the first visit to the nation’s capital for 97 spellers.
- Speller #94 Tara Singh from Louisville is the youngest speller in this year’s competition at age 8.
- The competitors range in age from 8 to 14 years old, but 89% are between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
- Two spellers, speller #91, Vanya Shivashankar, and speller #191, Ashwin Veeramani, have siblings who have previously won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
- 116 spellers speak more than one language.
- This year’s group of competitors is 52% girls and 48% boys.
- Among this year’s field, math is most frequently cited as a favorite subject.
- The spellers’ favorite words include conquistador, flibbertigibbet, humuhumunukunukuapuaa, physiognomy, weissnichtwo and gobbledegook.
The 2013 National Spelling Bee will air on TV on Thursday, May 30 as follows:
- Semi-finals: 2-5 p.m. EST on ESPN2
- Championship finals: 8-10 p.m. EST on ESPN
Below are champions from the past decade and their winning words.
- 2012: Snigdha Nandipati, “guetapens”
- 2011: Sukanya Roy, “cymotrichous”
- 2010: Anamika Veeramani, “stromuhr”
- 2009: Kavya Shivashankar, “Laodicean”
- 2008: Sameer Mishra, “guerdon”
- 2007: Evan M. O’Dorney, “serrefine”
- 2006: Kerry Close, “Ursprache”
- 2005: Anurag Kashyap, “appoggiatura”
- 2004: David Tidmarsh, “autochthonous”
- 2003: Sai R. Gunturi, “pococurante”
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