Competitors in the Scripps National Spelling Bee often struggle to contain their emotions as they react to obscure, complicated or tricked-up words that they may have never heard before.
It also now has the distinction of being the word that cost a local boy a shot at being the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.
Aisha, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Auburndale Intermediate School in Corona, misspelled perduellion, using just one l.
He wins more than $40,000 cash, the Scripps trophy, and trips to NY and Los Angeles for national television appearances, among other prizes.
That's a record number of spellers for the prime-time finals, and it could mean a late-night finish to a longer-than-usual week. It marked the first time the child of a previous champion competed in the national finals.
The massive field of spellers began competing in earnest Tuesday by taking a written test so hard that there were no flawless scores this year. But they also take a preliminary multiple-choice vocabulary and spelling test. The hundreds of precocious spellers, ranging in age from 8 to 15, stepped out from all 50 states.
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But Karthik was gracious about his win, and said of Naysa, "She's a really, really good speller".
The dramatic final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee are set to begin. "I'm trying not to make that my standard", she said Wednesday.
Aidan won the Treasure State title, which automatically qualified him for the national event, his second appearance there. She'll be 13 and in eighth grade, which is the final school year that spellers are eligible.
With the exception of the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", which, for some inexplicable reason, is a most searched-for word for people in six states, most of the other words on this map are pretty utilitarian and are likely words that pop up in work emails.
Paul Hamrick, 14, from Monterey, Calif., left, and Rishik Gandhasri, 12, from San Jose, Calif., stretch during a break in competition during the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.
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