East Bay teen wins National Spelling Bee

S-e-r-r-e-f-i-n-e. Most people have never heard of the word, not to mention being able to spell it. But a home-schooled 13-year-old from Danville, son of a BART driver, did know — and that was enough to win the 80th National Spelling Bee. (They are forceps used in surgery.)

Evan O'Dorney beat out all challengers, including Canadian Nate Gartke, who had been playing to the crowd, waving and smiling as his cheering section waved maple leaf flags. But the medical word “coryza” stumped Gartke and O'Dorney moved on to the top.

Ironically, the spelling champ is less interested in words than in math. He's thrilled about going to math camp this summer and taking a calculus class at U.C. Berkeley.

“My favorite things to do were math and music, and with the math I really like the way the numbers fit together,” he said. “And with the music I like to let out ideas by composing notes — and the spelling is just a bunch of memorization.”

Watch a video interview with spelling champion Evan O'Dorney.

Read all the latest updates (and the archives) on Examiner.com's National Spelling Bee page.

Check out the great photos on our Spelling Bee Championship slideshow.

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