National Harbor, Md. - The Spelling Bee is on! 281 students aged 8 to 15 took the stage Wednesday.
They’re competing for a $30,000 cash prize and trophy as well as a $2,500 savings bond and $1,200 worth of reference material, including an online E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A.
Sohail's first word was "tchotchke," meaning a small bauble or miscellaneous item. She spelled it correctly. Her second word was "gouda," like the cheese, and she nailed it.
Contestants must spell their word correctly to advance. Rules state at most 50 spellers will advance to Round Four, so preliminary tests were considered.
46 spellers advanced to Round Four, but Eesha was not among them.
More than 11 million students participated in the local bees that winnow out winners for the trip to the 87th annual Scripps-sponsored bee outside Washington, D.C.
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Chief Williamson's open letter about Nelson
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