Eva Vega made the Observer and the Charlotte region proud.
The eighth grader from Marvin Ridge Middle School in Union County advanced to the finals of the National Spelling Bee in Maryland before being knocked out Thursday afternoon on "paregoric."
Earlier Thursday, she correctly spelled "panentheism." Wednesday, she correctly spelled “porridge.” On Tuesday she correctly spelled “stolon,” which is a botany term. Those correct spellings combined with her performance on an earlier written test to qualify her as one of 41 finalists who are competing Thursday. The competition began with close to 520 spellers. When Eva was knocked out, there were 30 spellers remaining.
She will win a $500 gift card for her performance. The winner will receive $42,500 cash and other prizes.
Eva qualified for the national bee by winning the Charlotte Observer regional spelling bee in February. Her winning word there was “stramineous” which came after words such as mantilla, commotion and diplodocus. She also won the Observer bee in 2016 and reached the fourth round of the national bee that year.
The bee is airing live on ESPN2 until 2 p.m. Thursday.