Columbia Fifth Grader on Spell Bound Trip to Washington

5 years 4 months 3 weeks ago May 31, 2011 May 31, 2011 Tuesday, May 31 2011 Tuesday, May 31, 2011 10:08:00 PM CDT in Sports
By: Josh Frydman

10-year-old Faaris Khan calls spelling his hobby; a hobby that has him spell bound for Washington D.C.

"I wasn't expecting to win," Faaris said. "I was like cheering inside 'I'm gonna win and all that.'"

The fifth grader at Mill Creek elementary beat out 46 spellers to capture the Columbia Tribune regional spelling bee.

Now he'll take his first trip to the nation's capital to compete in next week's Scripps National Bee.

"Just two weeks before the competition, he called me on my cell phone and it was like after hours, and he was like, 'daddy, i'm gonna win this,'" said Iqbal Khan, Faaris' father.

"I said ok and then he hung up."

Yet even the best spellers can get burnt out. "When I study too much I just become fed up with it and become grumpy," Faaris said.

Faaris says he has no special tricks and no secret behind his way with words. "I just memorize them."

So with more than 470,000 entries in webster's dictionary, where do you even begin?

Well Scripps online has a list of about 400 words in a study guide you can print off and look at, and Faaris' parents printed off flash cards broken down by categories including colors and world dances.

More than 80 percent of the 275 spellers are older than the fifth grader, but if he can be the last one left spelling in Washington, he'll come back to Columbia with
another trophy and 30 thousand dollars.

"I'd spend it," Faaris said. "Spend some of it cause I just love wasting money."

That is just another one of this 10-year-old's hobbies.

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