LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A 15-year-old, home-schooled, Cape Coral student has made it to the final round at the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee. It's the most nerve-racking teen competition out there, and Jacob Williamson is amongst the top spellers in the nation.
"He's very confident when he gets his words," said former Scripps National Spelling Bee competitor, Aleena Boby.
Confident seems on point, and enthusiastic is probably an understatement. Jacob was among 36 spellers who remained as of noon today. He had to spell some words most people have never heard of like "harlequinade" and "euripus." Boby, a local teen who went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee last year, knows all too well the emotions of what it's like to step on the stage of our nation's capital.
"It's very nerve-racking," she said, "because everyone is watching you. There's a lot of pressure and you just want to get that one word that you know."
The pressure, aside from the national audience, is also a $30,000 cash prize accompanied with a $2,500 U.S. savings bond. So far, Jacob has passed with flying colors; he has had some pretty colorful reactions to his success. When organizers announced Jacob as a finalist, he couldn't contain his excitement.
With the world watching, there's only one thing to say: "g-o-o-d l-u-c-k," Boby spelled to Jacob.
Tonight, a champion will be crowned.
ESPN will broadcast the finals live starting at 8 p.m. For a full listing of spellers and semi-finalists, go to spellingbee.com.