Competitors watch during the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor in Maryland, May 29, 2013.
Larry Downing/Reuters

Marathon spelling bee runs out of words

It will be another two weeks before a spelling bee champion is announced in Missouri.

After two students battled for 66 rounds in the quest to represent Missouri in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, the judges ran out of words and decided to postpone the competition.

The original group of 25 students was quickly trimmed down to two: Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation, and Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary.

Kush and Sophia tore through the spelling bee program approved list and the other 20 words the judges picked from the dictionary, as the organizers quickly realized they would need some new words.

“We didn’t want to just go through the dictionary and give them more words. We feared that someone would get a word that was too easy while the other would get an extremely difficult word,” said Mary Olive Thompson, outreach coordinator for Kansas City Public Library told CNN. “We wanted to be a bit more calculated and neutral, and we wanted to give each an equal opportunity.”

The two will meet again on March 8 in a spell-off to determine who will advance to the2014 National Spelling Bee Competition in Washington, D.C.

Explore:

Marathon spelling bee runs out of words