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Speller reinstated into Scripps National Spelling Bee after appeal

Surya Kapu
Posted at 6:35 AM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 09:35:10-04

OXON HILL, Md — A speller has been reinstated into the Scripps National Spelling Bee field after successfully appealing that he was denied relevant root information about a word.

Thirteen-year-old Surya Kapu of South Jordan, Utah misspelled “leucovorin” during Wednesday night's last semifinal round.

Surya’s family appealed, arguing that Scripps omitted details when he asked a question about the word’s roots.

Scripps said in a statement its judges met for roughly two hours before reinstating Surya late Wednesday night.

According to the statement, the judges’ decision is backed by “a belief in the bee’s mission to inspire the exploration of words and celebrate academic achievement.”

The judges determined that there was more relevant information in the dictionary about the word “leucovorin.”

He will be given a new word before Thursday night's finalists and if he spells it correctly, he will join the 12 finalists competing for the title.

Surya has been coached by Cole Shafer-Ray, who also coached last year’s champion, Zaila Avant-garde.

By the way – if you were curious, “leucovorin” is a medicine used to counteract the side effects of a cancer drug.