Education: Spellbinder

In the 34 years of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee, girls have been the winners almost 2 to 1. Last week in Washington, the championship went to a boy: John Capehart, 12, a Tulsa neurosurgeon's son who competed against 49 girls and 23 other boys picked from 5,000,000 entrants. Word that tripped the runner-up: distichous (meaning arranged in two vertical rows, and misspelled distychous). Orthographophile Capehart's winning word, clinching the $1,000 prize: smaragdine (of or pertaining to emerald).

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!