FORT WASHINGTON, Md. – Huntsville 5th grader Erin Howard advanced to the final round at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday.
The 11-year-old knew there was a chance she’d be batting lead off because she’s from Huntsville, Ala., and the spellers are organized in alphabetical order by state.
“I was hoping they would mess up and put Alaska first,” Erin said. “But no! Had to do it right!”
But she didn’t have time to settle her nerves before she was asked to approach the microphone.
“It’s kind of abrupt,” said Erin, who was among the finalists. “Oh, it’s my turn! OK!”
Erin correctly spelled the word “tulipomania” (passion for tulips) and “abecedarius” (an acrostic in which the first letter of every word.)
The finals are tomorrow at 10 a.m. EDT. You can watch live on ESPN2. If you’re not close to a TV, you can keep track of Erin’s progress on Twitter using #Speller1.