Biloxi’s Josef Jackson spelled "voltigeur" as "voltajeure" in the third round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee today in D.C. The St. Patrick Catholic High School eighth-grader is the only Mississippian in the bee.
Josef had gotten through the first round written test of 25 words and the second round, where he spelled "species" correctly.
The bee has a new scoring format this year. Instead of advancing to each round after spelling a word correctly, all 293 contestants took the written test and are participating in two oral rounds. For each correct spelling offered by a speller in Rounds 2 and 3, the speller earns three points that count toward his or her preliminaries score – with the highest possible score being 31in the preliminaries. The breakdown: 25 points on the Round One test plus 3 points for a correct spelling in Round 2 plus 3 points for a correct spelling in Round Three.
After Round Three, bee officials will determine the approximately 50 semifinalists who will advance to Thursday’s rounds.
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Sunherald.com will update this story as the rounds progress.