At 9 years old, Cameron Keith is the youngest participant in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. He’s also the most honest, according to Scripps digital producer Gavin Stern, who interviewed Keith at the bee.
“I’m going to try my best. I studied a lot,” Keith said. “Some of it’s really boring and annoying when you do it.”
The Scripps Spelling Bee allows kids aged 9 to 15 to compete in the annual event that takes place right outside Washington, D.C.
The third-grader has a penchant for spelling long words with funny definitions and has already correctly spelled both words he was given. His first word was kabuki, which is a form of traditional Japanese drama, and his second word was odontiasis, which is the cutting of the teeth.
If those words seem impossible for a third-grader to spell correctly, it may be thanks to his nearly photographic memory, his mum told Stern. “He remembers most of the words he sees,” she said.
Keith lives near Boulder, Colorado on a farm and is a fantasy fiction fanatic. The Scripps National Spelling Bee noted his love of fantasy fiction with a tweet about his future career aspirations.
Unfortunately, Keith’s spelling bee run has come to an end. While he spelled both of his words correct, Cameron didn’t score high enough on the preliminary tests to advance to the Spelling Bee finals, according to Stern.
But the 9-year-old is remaining upbeat. “If you get the words right, you get to stay in the Bee,” Cameron told the Denver Channel. “And if you don’t, you get an awesome vacation in D.C.”
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