Finals of National Spelling Bee begin with 40 elite spellers

10 Years of Spelling Bee Champions

Before the lunch break on Wednesday, Edith Fuller successfully spelled the word nyctinasty, which describes the movement of plants, causing the crowd at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center to burst into applause.

At only 11 years-old, Hennessey still has three more years of eligibility.

But Kelly won't be competing in the Bee Finals on Thursday. This portion is also worth six points for a grand total of 36 possible points.

Propper, 13, an eighth-grader at West Genesee Middle School in Camillus, correctly spelled "hospitality" on Wednesday afternoon, her second consecutive correct word in the oral competition.

"It's not a matter of life and death", Miller said.

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Propper is one of four Upstate New York champs to survive after spelling their first two words on stage today.

Spellers could earn a maximum of 30 points on the test. Spellers that advanced to the finals needed to have earned 29 points to keep the number of spellers in the finals under 50.

The spellers got many words right, including somnolence, macrobiotics, succulent, tibia and webisode.

Martius has a number of friends from other states competing and even had two classmates come to support him, Ryndon said. Governor Chris Christie offered his congratulation to Padhy after she was announced as one of the 40 finalists. A wrong spelling meant automatic elimination from the contest.

Andrew said he would like to thank his family, principal, teachers and friends for being so supportive during the entire process.

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"It's been a great day", Debbi Mills said. "I'm thankful she is reaping the rewards of all of her studying". So Iyer, speller 259, headed back to his seat to join 16 other finalists into round seven.

Rana would repeat spellings "over and over and over again", he said. "It's been really a lot of fun". Eleven represent the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

Think you can do better than these kids? "It's just a phenomenal experience".

"He has done awesome so far", Kress said.

Rakesh won the Region I Kentucky-Indiana Spelling Bee in March, taking the 2017 title with the word "tiara".

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