WASHINGTON,May 30 – Tony J. Otten was eliminated during the preliminaries of the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
Tony,a 13-year-old seventh grade student at Tichenor Middle School in Erlanger,Ky.,received 3 points for correctly spelling “optimism” during the second round's oral competition,but did not answer enough multiple choice questions correctly during Round 1,a written test,to advance to quarterfinals.
Each correct answer on the written test was worth 1 point. Spellers needed 18 points to move to the quarterfinals.
Tony said after taking the written test that it was more difficult than he had anticipated. He could not be reached for an interview after the 107 quarterfinalists were named.
Tony's love for spelling began in the third grade,and he said,”The love of language,” got him interested.
“It's the most exciting thing,” Tony said. “It doesn't make me nervous at all.”
Tony,who practices every day,enjoys reading,and said,”I have a very expansive library collection.”
One of his favorite words is “fiefdom,” which is the estate or domain of a feudal lord.
Tony added,”Each of them is my favorite because they're all ones I was prompted to spell” in previous competitions.
Two words he used to describe himself are “literate” and “thoughtful.”
“I like to think things out before they happen,” Tony said.
When he gets older,he said he'd like to be “an author. No matter what career I'm leaning towards,author is always involved in it.”
Tony won a trip to the 80th Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning a regional spelling bee at Northern Kentucky University in February.
Each of the 286 spellers received a Scripps commemorative watch,$50,Webster's Third New International Dictionary,Unabridged on CD-ROM,the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award of $100 saving bond,iQuest handhelds from LeapFrog,and a duffle bag,T-shirt,baseball bat and $20 certificate from Franklin Electronic Publishers.
The bee semi-finals will be broadcast Thursday morning on ESPN. The finals will be live on ABC from 8 to 10 p.m.