2 local students compete in 90th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee

(WBTW) – The 90th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is underway in Washington D.C.

291 young people are competing, including two kids from our area.

One competitor is 11 -year-old  Alia Abou Dakka.

She’s a 5th grader at River Oaks Elementary School. Dakka had a good run, but she was eliminated with the word ‘colliculus’.

According to the 5th grader, the key to spelling success is staying positive.

“You’re expecting yourself to do well. And if you expect yourself to do well, you do,” said Dakka.

Also competing is Abby Richburg. She’s an 8th grader at Manning Junior High School. News13 hasn’t spoken with her yet because she’s still in the competition. Tonight on stage she spelled ‘preferential’ correctly.

The youngest contestant in this year’s spelling bee was just 5 years old at the time she qualified.

The winner gets $40,000 in cash.