NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Eighth-grader Benjamin Kulas of Nashville ran into a bright, shiny word he couldn't overcome Thursday at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Kulas, sponsored by the Crossings Nashville Action Partnership of Antioch, a civic group, started the day as one of 46 spellers who had made it to the semifinals of the bee. A total of 281 spellers began the competition.
As he stood calmly on stage before a cavernous ballroom and a national television audience on ESPN2, the 13-year-old stumbled on the word "nitid," which means something bright, shiny, glossy or lustrous.
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