Sunday, March 9, 2014
PORTLAND — Brandon Aponte, 12, of Brooklin won the Maine State Spelling Bee Saturday.
Brandon Aponte, 12, representing Hancock County, reacts after being told he spelled the word "crambo" correctly to win the Maine State Spelling Bee at the Hannaford Lecture Hall at the USM Portland campus on Saturday.
Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
Brandon, who is home-schooled, correctly spelled “crambo,” the name of a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players.
The win came in round 47, four hours into the grueling competition that ended with about an hour-long spell-off between Brandon and last year’s winner, Nat Jordan, an eighth-grader at Cape Elizabeth Middle School.
Last year Brandon and Nat were the last two remaining spellers in a 50-round bee.
The Maine State Spelling Bee, which is organized by MaineToday Media, pits the top spellers from 15 of the state’s 16 counties. Husson College sponsors a separate bee for Penobscot County.
The two winners will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 28 to May 30 in Washington, D.C.
All county finalists in Saturday’s competition walked away with a Kindle electronic book reader, a $25 gift certificate for electronic books and a water bottle.
The winner and one adult get a free trip to the nationals.
The winner of the national bee takes home $30,000 in cash, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and a $5,000 scholarship.