A star was born this week in Washington, D.C.
Jacob Williamson, 15, has stolen the stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee with his infectious enthusiasm and wonderful celebrations. Jacob, who hails from Cape Coral, Fla., finished second in local qualifying for the past two years before advancing to the national round in his final year of eligibility.
Here's his reaction when upon spelling the word "euripus" correctly:
And here he is when he found out he'd be advancing to the final round:
— Andrew Clifford (@AKClifford12) May 29, 2014
To prepare for this tournament Jacob, who is home schooled, put in eight hours of studying a day. In addition to spelling, he enjoys fantasy sports and collecting coins. He is the youngest member of the Fort Myers Coin Club.
The tournament in the nation's capital has given Jacob the chance to visit the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where coins are made.
"This has been the best week of his life," Jacob's father, Dan, told the News-Press. "So many times, kids that are academic don't get their due. We deify the people who play with a ball and make $10 million a year and (often ignore) these kids that we need to be our future doctors and scientists. It's an imbalance in our culture."
The bee crowned co-champions this year as Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe because the competition's list of words didn't have enough left for the two to continue going head to head.
Williamson advanced to the 10th round. When he was eliminated, there were six competitors left. After the 15th round, the field was down to Hathwar and Sujoe. They matched each other through the 22nd round when they were declared co-champs.