Misspell for the show, spell for the dough

Congratulations to Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, who shared the championship of the Scripps spelling bee.

They were confident and rarely flustered, which is why a few hours from now, we’ll forget who they were.

Not so for Jacob Williamson, a 15-year-old from Cape Coral, Florida, now known as the “Kabaragoya Kid.”

He reads the dictionary for two hours each night and his mother said he had an advantage. He’s home schooled.

“He would have been so bored waiting for the other kids to catch up to him in public school,” she said.

“He’s a free-range chicken, my friend,” said his father. “People love him for his honesty and his joy of life.”

  • jaime

    I absolutely adore watching the spelling bee (my inner geek coming out). It’s a great space to allow these really bright kids some public, national recognition. And the short intros where they had the kids lip syncing, and just being goofy made it seem like they were having a good time (and I hope that’s true).

    Not so sure I fully agree with Mr. Williamson’s mother about the rationale for choosing to home school. I think having to learn how to interact with others and work on social skills is also an important life skill that is on par with book-smarts. In the workplace he’s going to have to work with people who may not think the same way and he’ll need to figure out how to negotiate that. But his exuberance made me smile.

    There were others in the competition who seemed to have some fun personalities as well (loved the youngest competitor’s reaction to the crazy German word that ultimately sent him packing).

    These are the kids that restore my faith in humanity. 🙂

  • John Peschken

    Tough word to lose on. Except for the C vs. K problem, it’s a pretty phonetic.

  • Ben Chorn

    I wonder if he will ever forget how to spell the name of a large lizard, also known as a water monitor that is native to South Asia.