Friday, May 29, 2015

Louisville's Spelling Bee Champ Wows the Crowd at National Contest

Dev Jaiswal as he joins his mother and sister 
Louisville and Winston Academy's own Dev Jaiswal worked his way into the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and into the hearts of a national television audience last night (Thursday). The event in its 88th year was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. 

Dev completed the first rounds of the competition and based upon his written tests for spelling and vocabulary, he was rated as the #1 competitor in the competition. The national contest began on Tuesday with 285 contestants. Jaiswal entered the finals as one of ten contestants.

The highly anticipated program was broadcast on ESPN at 7:00 pm on Thursday night and Jaiswal was highly featured as his manner and infectious smile seemed to win over not only the audience but also the media as he was featured in a promo for the program.

The first rounds went well as the contestants were narrowed done to the top five. Jaiswal created a bit of drama as he completed his first word. "bacchius" with only 4 seconds to spare.

As the contestants dwindled down to seven, Jaiswal had little trouble with his next word, "Gnathostome" and quizzed the prompter on word origin.

With only five contestants remaining, Dev's next word was not one with which he was familiar. After several questions about origins, meaning and pronunciation, the young contestant misspelled "Iridocyclitis" by replacing the "y" with an "i".

As Jaiswal left the stage, he was greeted with a lengthy standing ovation from the audience and his fellow contestants and the reaction as he joined his mother and sister was one of the highlights of the evening.

Afterwards, the Winston Academy 8th Grader was highly sought after for interviews and autographs.

Earlier in the contest, Dev was quoted, “I’ve blown my own mind. I’ll be happy wherever I place tonight. It’s just a great honor to be here.”

After the contest, he repeated his feelings, “I’m very, very happy to have made it as far as I did.”

This year's contest ended in a similar manner to the 2014 Bee as there was a tie for the championship. : Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam were crowned co-champions of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee! Both winners had participated in the Bee on multiple occasions and were in their last year of eligibility.

Dev Jaiswal was also in his last year of eligibilty as he enters the 8th grade in the coming school year.