CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Southwest Florida's star speller is finally back home. After a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. and a performance that has made him an internet sensation, 15-year-old Jacob Williamson stopped by a our studio to share what it was like on the big stage.
In the Scripps National Spelling Bee, there are competitors who win the show. And then, there are some who steal the show.
"I know it! I know it! I totally know it!" Jacob Williamson exclaimed Thursday night at the event.
"I would just jump for joy because I couldn't contain my excitement," Williamson tells WINK News.
The Cape Coral native's animated reactions made this young ultra-speller a household name... even if the word "kabaragoya" got the best of him. "k-a-b-a-r-a-g-o-y-a," Williamson spelled out for us. "It refers to a particularly nasty Australian lizard. Big lizard. I was thinking dang, a 'c' was such a way more logical choice because so many more words start with 'c' than 'k.'"
He still placed 7th. Believe it or not the 15-year-old has only been spelling competitively for 3 years. His parents realized when their child was helping them spell, he had a gift.
"I've been through the entire Webster's third international dictionary, you know the one, I've been through it twice," Williamson said. "I made my own dictionary by language of origin, of about 6-8,000 words I still have."
One of his favorite words? Give this one shot: "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis."
Now back home in southwest Florida and sporting his gold and silver hardware, Jacob is enjoying some of his newfound fame. "I had no idea it was going to explode like this," Williamson said. "It could get people that would never even watch the spelling bee to root for me."
Though he's aged out of the big competition, he's now thinking about becoming a coach for the next generation of spellers. "It was just the best week I ever had by far," WillIamson said. "It was the most amazing thing i've ever experienced."
Jacob's not just good at spelling. He's also a whiz in math and science. This experience even got him thinking about broadcasting. As far as a future career, the sky's the limit.