I'm The Best (Spelling Bee) Handicapper


Friday night's results in the Scripps National Spelling Bee proved only one thing; there is no one who can pick a Spelling Bee champion better than I can.

Instead of doing my standard top 10 to win it all this year, I challenged myself in the year of the most contestants (288) and only did a top five.

Sure enough, my fifth pick, Sameer Mishra won it all. Tia Thomas, who I picked to win it, finished third.

Last year, my fourth pick Evan O'Dorneytook the title and the year before myNo. 3 pick Katherine Close won. I'm trying to be modest, but no one had Mishra. Here was my rationale when I picked him on Thursday:

Though he wasn't a top speller last year, Mishra is the only four-year repeater who has also had a family member in the contest before. With 230 contestants saying they rely on just family and friends, having a demanding speller of a parent is an important trait when considering a winner.

Some would say after Samir went from 14th in 2006 to 16th in 2007, his upside was reached. But I saw his potential.

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