PHOENIX – Max Greenspan was competing at the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee when he was eliminated for the word “mot juste.“
The 13-year-old is a wild-card speller from Scottsdale, Arizona. Wild-card means he won at school level, not country level.
He was on the second round when he heard the ding signaling a misspelled word. But this was not the end of the road for this speller! Greenspan and his parents filed a complaint.
“I was only one letter away from spelling it correctly,“ he said after the round. ”I was thinking about it for a second, and they dinged me. I don’t know why. There was still well over a minute left on the clock.“
The judges decided to reinstate Greenspan, the sixth speller in the history of the Bee to rejoin the competition.
He went on to the third round where he was disqualified for incorrectly spelling “pseudologist.“
Greenspan was one of eight Arizona kids to compete this year in Maryland.