Local Spelling Bee F-I-N-A-L-L-Y Ends With A Winner
A marathon spelling bee between local area students who exhausted the initial word list has F-I-N-A-L-L-Y-ended after 29 rounds Saturday when the runner-up stumbled over the word "stifling."
Seventh-grader Kush Sharma and fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman went toe-to-toe in the Jackson County Spelling Bee, which began two weeks ago but had to be extended after Kush and Sophia easily destroyed the first word list provided.
Finally, after the end of the 28th round, Sophia got stumped on spelling “stifling.”
After the judges ruled that she had misspelled it, leaving Kush to claim the spelling bee champion if he could spell his word correctly in the 29th round.
Kush’s final word was “definition,” which got laughs when he asked for the definition. Kush successful spelled the word, making him the local spelling the champion and sending him to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C./
Three days following the spelling bee, both of the families made appearance on CNN and “Good Morning America,” in which they indicated that both Kush and Sophia have become close friends.
"I was pretty sad when she got that word incorrect," said Kush. Sophia said she was excited that she made it so far in the bee and that she planned to compete again next year. Kush said he, too, would be back, and he wouldn't be surprised if the two dueled even longer next year.
- Kelly Urich