- Title: U.S. spelling bee features youngest competitor
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: OXON HILL, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (MAY 31, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITOR HALEY JEFFERS WALKING ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 14-YEAR-OLD NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITOR, HALEY JEFFERS, SAYING: "Well for me it's mostly just flipping through the dictionary and finding really weird words that they might use. I also study some roots, you know, Latin and Greek that I could use to piece together some words, but besides that, it's really all down to chance." JEFFERS ASKING FOR ALTERNATIVE PRONUNCIATIONS OF HER WORD (SOUNDBITE) (English) HALEY JEFFERS' MOTHER, LYNN JEFFERS, SAYING: "I think in a spelling bee or any other competition, or any other endeavor that you have to work hard at and you're learning new things, it's great for kids just to learn how to be -- that it's okay to be wrong; that part of the process is actually learning and the process of getting there, not necessarily always getting things right." JEFFERS SPELLING WORD CORRECTLY, HIGH-FIVING FELLOW COMPETITOR ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 11-YEAR-OLD NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITOR, JASON SORIN, SAYING: "Mostly it was just mom quizzed me with a huge spreadsheet full of words." SORIN SPELLING HIS WORD CORRECTLY (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASON SORIN'S MOTHER, DEBORAH SORIN, SAYING: "I'm a big spreadsheet fan, so I created a spreadsheet. When you win the regionals, they send you all this -- places try to sell you all this stuff in the mail for thousands of dollars; buy these books, buy these word lists, get a personal spelling coach. And you know, no one has time or money for that." SORIN APPLAUDING FOR FELLOW COMPETITOR ON STAGE YOUNGEST SPELLER IN THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE'S HISTORY, SIX-YEAR-OLD EDITH FULLER, ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE TIGHT SHOT FULLER'S FACE TIGHT SHOT FULLER'S HANDS WIDE SHOT FULLER ON STAGE WITH HER PARENTS, JUSTIN AND ANNIE FULLER (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUNGEST SPELLER IN THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE'S HISTORY, EDITH FULLER, AND REPORTERS: Reporter: "How does it feel to be the youngest speller in history?" Fuller: "It feels really exciting." Reporter: "Do you hope to come back to the bee next year?" Fuller: "I do -- if I don't win this time." (audience laughter) WIDE SHOT SPELLING BEE IN PROGRESS COMPETITORS LISTENING ON STAGE OFFICIAL PRONOUNCER OF THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, DR. JACQUES, BAILLY, ADDRESSING COMPETITOR BELL RINGING AS COMPETITOR GETS HER WORD WRONG (SOUNDBITE) (English) 10-YEAR OLD NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITOR JOSEPH MORAN'S MOTHER, SALLY MORAN, SAYING: "It's been stressful, even though he normally does well under pressure, he's been nervous and that's not normally him." COMPETITOR AT MICROPHONE JEFFERS SITTING ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 10-YEAR-OLD NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITOR, ISHAAN AKULA, SAYING: "Well I got interested actually through my sisters, because they made it sound really interesting, so I was like, hey, why don't I try this? And yeah, so I made it here." WIDE SHOT DICTIONARIES ON DISPLAY VARIOUS TIGHT SHOTS OF DICTIONARY (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISHAAN AKULA'S MOTHER, MEERAJA AKULA, SAYING: "I just say, the winner could be just one word away, you know. So I just say, you know, it is just a matter of luck, but you know, you have to prepare, and you know, learn along the process, you know, how to actually dissect the words and get to it and understanding and enjoying the words itself." COMPETITOR SPELLING WORD WITH TROPHY IN FOREGROUND
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 00:14
- Keywords: National Spelling Bee Edith Fuller youngest speller Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
- Location: OXON HILL, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES
- City: OXON HILL, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Human Interest / Brights / Odd News
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J67PS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee got underway on Wednesday (May 31) with 291 word whizzes vying for the top prize, including the contest's youngest-ever competitor.
Competing for a $40,000 first-place cash prize, spelling virtuosos ranging in age from 6 to 15 began facing off at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. The contest concludes with finals on Thursday (June 1) at the Washington-area resort.
Competitors said it took a lot of hard work to get there, but also a bit of luck.
"I study some roots, you know, Latin and Greek that I could use to piece together some words, but besides that, it's really all down to chance," said 14-year-old Haley Jeffers.
The contestants include Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who recently turned 6 and is the youngest participant to qualify for the national spelling bee.
She is one of more than 11 million youths who competed in earlier spelling bees in all 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, and several nations from Jamaica to Japan, contest officials said in a news release.
New rules this year are aimed at preventing tie endings like last year's, when joint winners both got $40,000 cash prizes.
Bee officials will administer a Tiebreaker Test to all spellers in the competition at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Thursday. The test will consist of 12 spelling words, which contestants will handwrite, and 12 multiple-choice vocabulary questions.
If it is mathematically impossible for one champion to emerge through 25 rounds, officials will declare the speller with the highest tiebreaker score the winner. If there is a tie on the test, judges will declare co-champions.
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