The 80th Scripps National Spelling Bee concluded Thursday with the champion crowned on national television in prime time for the second consecutive year. Out of a record field of 286 spellers, 15 survived to compete in the finals.
Thirteen-year-old Evan O'Dorney of Danville, Calif., has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, winning $35,000 cash prize, plus a $5,000 scholarship, a $2,500 savings bond and a complete set of reference works. Evan always eats fish before his spelling bees. The brain food apparently has served him well: He's the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.
The 13-year-old aced "serrefine" a noun describing small forceps winning a tense duel with Nate Gartke of Spruce Grove, Alberta, who was trying to become the first Canadian to win the bee, in its 80th year. Evan and Nate went head-to-head for three rounds, matching each other correct spellings until Nate flubbed the medical word ``coryza'' by adding the letter ``h.''
The day began with 59 spellers remaining from the record 286 who started the competition Wednesday.