Four Dallas-area students advance to national spelling bee finals

Grace Parrott of Ketchikan, and Daniel Doudnavo of Fairbanks placed high in this year's National Spelling Bee

Grace Parrott of Ketchikan, and Daniel Doudnavo of Fairbanks placed high in this year's National Spelling Bee

Spellers are picked based on the total points earned from a preliminary spelling and vocabulary test combined with their two words.

The 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee is slated to return to the National Harbor Convention Center in Maryland for its final round, where young children will recite a long roster of challenging words to become this year's champion Thursday.

The three most misspelled words, according to Google, are handsome, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and resume.

At the National Spelling Bee on Thursday night, it came down to two Texans.

Thursday had begun with 41 spellers who qualified for the finals after surviving what was arguably the most intense competition in the bee's 93-year history.

Words that sound easy to armchair spellers aren't always so simple for the elite spellers on stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Alice Liu of Chesterfield, Miss., went with "ebbot" - and was eliminated earlier than she was past year in her bee debut. Anisha Rao, 12, a seventh-grader from Fallon Middle School in Dublin, drew the word "pavillon". "She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Karthik said.

Mattie is one of only four Canadians at the Scripps Bee, and this isn't her first time attending. He correctly spelled "hypochondria" and "plangent" in Rounds 2 and 3. It would take five rounds of onstage spelling to get to 16, the largest group ever to head into the championship finals. So this year, Scripps Howard created an "invitational" category that added 238 additional spellers to the national competition, bringing the total to a record-setting 516.

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