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Are North Texas Adults Smarter Than A Nat’l Spelling Bee Winner?

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Arezow Doost
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas 13-year-old has had nearly a full day to enjoy his new title of co-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Fort Worth student Ansun Sujoe hoisted the trophy, along with his fellow winner, near Washington D.C. Thursday night.

The two boys spelled so many words correctly that they exhausted the whole list of words approved for the contest – in essence they ran out of words!

CBS 11 News wondered how many adults have what it takes to win the national spelling bee. So Arezow Doost hit the streets of Fort Worth to find out.

There are about 600,000 words in the dictionary.

Henri Gonzalez tried to pronounce the word “antigropolos.” North Texas Jacob Wayne offered little help. “I don’t even know if I can say that.”

The two men looked at words that most of us have never heard.

Looking in the dictionary for antigropolos Gonzalez asked, “Is it in there?” Wayne tries to help, “a-n-t-i-g…”

Clearly the men were out of their league. But not Fort Worth 7th grader Ansun Sujoe! While the Fort Worth 7th grader may not know how to say a few words, the 13-year-old can spell some of the most difficult in the dictionary.

Feuilleton is the word that won Ansun his co-champion status.

Gonzalez began a valiant attempt at trying to spell the word. “F-e-r-a-t-o-n,” was his incorrect guess.

Wayne then advised him that, “You have to use it in a sentence for us. It means a part of a newspaper.”

Both men were nonplussed. But Wayne may have had some delusions of grandeur “All the other ones I would have got — that one I would struggled with I think.”

Ansun is a student at Bethesda Christian School and they are rhapsodic — that means really proud!

The teenager was very humble after winning the contest. “I’m pretty happy that we got to be co-champions,” he said of himself and Sriram Hathwar.

For Ansun the spelling bee was a competition against the dictionary.

Looking at some of the words facing contestants Gonzalez asked, “How old were these kids?” When told he said Ansun would have, “…bragging rights. That’s what it will help him with.”

Gonzalez and Wayne continued their search for words. “I don’t see augenphilologie in here,” Wayne said flipping through the dictionary. Gonzalez offered a reason why, “Must be a new word,” he said.

Referring to the new words recently added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary Wayne said, “Must be a new word along with selfie.”

We left the men laughing!

A footnote – in preparation for this story we bought one dictionary that didn’t even contain the winning word. We had to go back to the store and buy a bigger dictionary to find some of the words presented to spelling bee contestants.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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