BILLINGS, Mont. - After 41 rounds and 4 1/2 hours, Anna Rose Wright won the Treasure State Spelling Bee Saturday. "I have never seen a bee go this long," said round judge Lynn Schwanke of Missoula, a previous state bee director for more than 20 years. "It was really remarkable."
Anna Rose, 13, and Tim Best, 12, of Joliet battled head-to-head for 25 rounds after the remaining 63 contestants fell out of the competition.
Anna Rose, a home-schooler competing in her fourth bee, won an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in late May, a $100 savings bond and a dictionary.
She correctly spelled "mumpsimus," — a person who persists in a mistaken expression or belief — and then clinched the victory by spelling "galenical," — a medicinal preparation made mostly of herbs or vegetable matter.
The contest, which seesawed between Anna Rose and Tim, requires the winner to correctly spell two words after their challenger misses a word. Twice, Anna Rose corrected the pronunciation of words.
Beginning with the 29th round, the contest moved into words not included on the word list given to all contestants to study.
Anna Rose said she had been studying spelling words since last summer, a couple hours most days, using word lists used at the national spelling bee, an online dictionary and tapes that include word pronunciations.