NATIONAL HARBOR,Md. – Clint Goodwin,14,of Redding,Calif.,was a little disappointed,but held his head up high Wednesday after spelling out during Round 3 of the 86th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Clint correctly spelled “prabhu” Wednesday morning advancing to Round 3,when he incorrectly spelled “ratafia,” which means sweet liqueur made from wine and brandy flavored with plum or peach or apricot kernels and bitter almonds.
Clint spelled “r-a-t-i-f-i-a,” substituting “i” for “a” on stage.
Clint recalled how he felt on stage when he was given the word.
“At first I didn’t recognize the word,so I had him repeat it. I didn’t think we went over that,and then I knew we went over it. I remembered it as r-a-t-i-f-i-a,but I guess it was r-a-t-a-f-i-a,” he said.
Clint said he enjoyed his time competing in the Scripps Bee.
“It’s been pretty good here. I like the whole spelling bee experience. I learned a lot of new words,” he said.
Clint said he’ll most likely be back Thursday to cheer on the rest of the competitors.
“The semi-finals and finals are tomorrow so I will probably come back and watch those,” he said.
This year the Scripps National Spelling Bee added a few changes.
The bee added a vocabulary test the spellers took Tuesday morning along with a written spelling test. In another rule change,students who missed a word in Rounds 2 and 3 were eliminated. In the past,scores from the written and oral rounds were tallied after Round 3 to choose about 50 semifinalists. It is the same this year,but some of the spellers were out of the competition by then.
The Scripps National Spelling bee is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati.
Clint’s youngest brother,Grant Goodwin,11,said he has aspirations to compete in the annual Spelling Bee.
“I have to wait until my school gives us our list to study for the regional because I’m hoping that I win my school’s first,so I can go,” he said.
Clint’s advice for the rest of the competitors and future spellers is to study.
“Go over the word list all the time. That is the only way you will win,” he said.
The winner will receive a $30,000 cash prize and a trophy,a $2,500 U.S. savings bond from Merriam-Webster and $2,000 in reference books from Encyclopedia Britannica. All 281 spellers in the bee win $100 VISA gift card,with other prizes up to $12,000 for second place.
The semifinals on Thursday will be live on ESPN2 from noon to 5 p.m.,and the finals will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8 p.m.
Reach reporter Imari Williams at [email protected] or 202-326-9867. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.