Monday, July 11, 2011

AARP’S National Spelling Bee Winner from Georgia

Fifty-eight-year-old Tony Johnson (#7 in the photo) is a baby boomer who can spell. His ability to spell earned him $5000 and a five-year AARP membership as he was crowned champion of the 2011 AARP National Spelling Bee held in Cheyenne, WY last month.

Johnson, a practicing psychologist from LaGrange, Georgia, correctly spelled “uakari” in the 39th round of the competition that began with 40 spellers from across America. Johnson’s studying regimen for the last year: “I systematically went through the dictionary from A to Z.”

Sixty-six-year-old Michael Petrina, Jr., from Arlington, VA missed “uncinariasis” to place second, taking home a check for $500 and a 2-year AARP membership. Third place with a prize of $250 and a 1-year AARP membership went to Scott Firebaugh, 57, from Knoxville, TN, who incorrectly spelled the word “aphaeretic.” Spellers ranged in age from 50 to 81.

The 2012 AARP National Spelling Bee will be held Saturday, June 16, 2012, at Little America Hotel in Cheyenne, WY. Complete registration information is available at or by calling 1-877-926-8300.

Additional finalists in this year's spelling competition include:

4. Norman Zucker, 64, from Petaluma, CA
5. Susan Hartner, 66, from Hillsboro, OR
6. Robert Moy, 54, from New York, NY
7. Jim Sherry, 69, from Troy, AL
8. Roxana Bradley, 62, from Albuquerque, NM
9. Kathleen Cramm, 68, from Parker, CO
10. Ron Lewis, 63, from Missouri City, TX
11. Linda Phillips, 71, from Newport, RI
11. Marlene Harry, 59, from Brownsburg, IN
12. Curtis Beckman, 65, from Denton, TX
12. Mary Ann Fenske, 63, from Wichita, KS
12. Kate Karp, 62, from Long Beach, CA

So what do you think---Can you spell well enough to win $5000?

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