Where can you find hundreds of kids from across the country and around the world sitting around spelling such words as “usufructuary” and “febrifugal”?
At the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking place this week at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, of course!
The competition started Tuesday with a written test. On Wednesday, the kids started spelling words on the big stage. The final rounds will be televised on ESPN starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Of the 275 competitors, 13 are from Virginia, nine are from Maryland and one is from the District. The winner receives about $40,000 in cash and prizes.
The most suspenseful moment of Wednesday’s first round was provided by Marcus Tecarro of Illinois, who was clearly stumped by the word “ineluctable,” which means something that’s not to be avoided.
The eighth-grader paused and paused again. When he spelled the word correctly, he pretended to fall over backward in relief.