Chesterfield fifth-grader Gokul Venkatachalam is now a semifinalist in the E.W. Scripps annual National Spelling Bee, after surviving first three rounds of spelling competition Wednesday.
He's sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and is competing in National Harbor, Maryland among 278 others nationwide.
Early Thursday, he'll vie for a finalist slot, and then during prime time on ESPN sports television, he aim for champ.
According to the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Venkatachalam spelled the following words correctly on Wednesday, and 20 other words via computer, in order to become a semifinalist:
In Round 2 quotidian
In Round 3 widdershins
In Preliminary round there are 25 words Venkatachalam spelled on computer:
A combination of points from all three rounds determined his win to qualify as a semifinalist.
The final day of the spelling competition is Thursday.
Venkatachalam was the winner among 36 others in St. Louis.
Here's how he won so far:
All 278 spellers spelled onstage during Rounds Two and Three. No one was eliminated during these rounds. If a speller misspells during Rounds Two or Three, the head judge will not ring the bell. Instead, the pronouncer will offer the correct spelling, and the speller will remain onstage until the conclusion of the round.
Immediately after the conclusion of Round Three, the Bee officials will determine the semifinalists in accordance with Rule 4. Each speller will receive 1 point for each score word spelled correctly during the Round One Test and 3 points for each word spelled correctly during Rounds Two and Three, for a maximum possible score of 31. Spellers scoring higher than at least 228 other spellers will advance to the Semifinals.
About five minutes after the conclusion of Round Three, Bee Director Paige Kimble will announce the semifinalists. All other spellers will be out of the competition.