But if three spellers had not missed those words, fourth-grader Zayden Sullins may not have walked away as the system spelling bee champion, defeating 10 other children in grades four through eight.
Zayden spelled “vernal” to take home the prize after Coosa Middle School sixth-grader Zac Mitchell misspelled the word “predicament.”
Competitors have to correctly spell two words to win.
Sullins is the first fourth-grader to win the bee since 2003, when Abby Monteith, a fourth-grade student from Armuchee Elementary, took home the championship, according to information from Floyd County Schools.
The Garden Lakes Elementary School student said his parents had him study, “which I did not want to do,” for 30 minutes each night.
Sullins is the son of Alicia and Gary Sullins, who cheered him on as he competed against many students older than him.
“I was shocked,” Alicia Sullins said of his win.
Other school spelling champions participating in the Bee were: Alto Park Elementary, Emily Vankleef; Armuchee Elementary, Levi Hammond; Armuchee Middle, Christopher Castro; Cave Spring Elementary, Hannah Moore; Johnson Elementary, Aaron Bartleson; Model Elementary, Brylen Cantrell; Model Middle, Madison Dover; Pepperell Elementary, Morgan Davis; Pepperell Middle, David Johnson.
Sullins received a plaque and certificate recognizing his accomplishment. He will represent Floyd County Schools in the District Spelling Bee to be at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23 at the Floyd County Board of Education office.