13-year-old California boy wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Fri, June 01, 2007 by Mark Kroeger

WASHINGTON - Evan M. O'Dorney, a 13-year-old speller from Danville, Calif., won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night.

O'Dorney was named the Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion in the 13th round after correctly spelling the word "serrefine," which is defined as "a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel."

O'Dorney, the son of Michael and Jennifer O'Dorney, represented the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., in this year's competition. O'Dorney is an eighth grade student at Venture School in San Ramon, Calif.

This was the third Scripps National Spelling Bee in which he competed. Evan tied for 14th place in 2006.

The championship rounds of this year's Bee were broadcast live on the ABC Television Network.

The spelling competition began Wednesday with 286 competitors who qualified to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning locally sponsored bees in their home communities.

Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company, declared Evan the national champion and awarded him the engraved Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship loving cup immediately after the winning word was correctly spelled.

"Each year we host the Scripps National Spelling Bee to celebrate academic excellence and to encourage advanced literacy," Lowe said. "Our congratulations to Evan who survived 13 rounds of spelling to emerge as the 2007 national champion. We also extend our congratulations to all of the top spellers who participated in this year's competition."

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational promotion. The competition is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company, based in Cincinnati, and 280 local sponsors. The majority of local spelling bee sponsors are daily and weekly newspapers.

The competition was held in the Independence Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Round-by-round results can be reviewed at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Web site, spellingbee.com.

Finishing second in this year's competition was Nate Gartke, 13, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of Tim and Carolyn Gartke. Tying for third place were Joseph Henares of New Haven, Conn., Prateek Kohli of Hicksville, N.Y., and Isabel Jacobson of Madison, Wisc.

Cash prizes for competitors range from $50 to $20,000 for the national champion. All spellers receive a commemorative watch; the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which consists of a $100 EE U.S. Savings bond; Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, on CD-ROM from Merriam-Webster; a $20 gift certificate from Franklin Electronic Publishers; and an iQuest handheld from LeapFrog.

The national champion also receives an engraved loving cup, a $5,000 cash award from Franklin Electronic Publishers, a $5,000 cash award from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., a $5,000 scholarship from Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation; from Merriam-Webster, a $2,500 U.S. Savings Bond, a reference library, and a $5,000 cash award and 50 reference works to the school or library of the champion's choice; and from Encyclopedia Britannica, reference materials valued at more than $3,800.

About Scripps

The E. W. Scripps Company (www.scripps.com) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 17 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.

  Download PDF Version