Cullman’s Carter Daily finishes run in 3rd round of National Spelling Bee

Carter Daily steps to the mic at the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland Monday. (Courtesy of Shannon Daily)

Updated 5-28-19 7:49 p.m.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – This year’s Cullman County Spelling Bee champion, Carter Daily, a sixth grader at St. Paul’s Lutheran School, reached the third round of the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee this week.

Daily finished his run in the third round Tuesday evening.

In a message to The Tribune, his mother Shannon Daily shared, “Round three took him out of the competition on the word ‘postern.’ His godmother told him she had never even heard that word and she has a Ph.D. in English! He is content because he really didn’t know the word.”

Shannon Daily reported that Carter has a good sense of fair play, and is happy about how he did, adding in her message a note to his supporters: “Thank you sooo much for all the support from home. It was felt in leaps and bounds!!! We are going to enjoy the rest of the bee week festivities (with NO word studying for the first time since August) and explore D.C.!”

As Daily prepared for Tuesday evening’s round of competition, Shannon Daily told The Tribune, “I am so proud of Carter and his dedication; the amount of work he puts in before a spelling bee is extraordinary.  I love that he is seeing what hard work and dedication can accomplish.  Carter has a true passion for spelling and loves every competition.

“Just getting to Nationals is such an accomplishment.  There are over 11 million spellers competing for only 562 spots in D.C.  They told us today that you have better odds of winning an Academy Award during your lifetime than you do getting to come to D.C. and competing in the National Spelling Bee.”

Daily’s National Spelling Bee adventure almost didn’t happen.  At this year’s county bee, he was sent down from the stage in the very first round due to a discrepancy between judges over his pronunciation of letters when spelling the word “slav.”  The bee was being recorded, though, and a review by the judges determined that he had indeed spelled the word correctly.  Daily went on to win the county competition, and though he didn’t win the Alabama State Bee, he placed high enough in the rankings to qualify for nationals.

Carter Daily told The Tribune, “I’m just so excited to even get to come to Nationals; it has been a dream of mine for years!”

The 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee will continue Wednesday morning.  The championship round will be broadcast live on ESPN2 starting at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. Once the field of 50 finalists has been narrowed down, the last dozen spellers will compete live on ESPN Thursday evening.

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Carter Daily enjoying Bee Week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.  (Courtesy of Shannon Daily)

W.C. Mann