Erin Howard, speller 93, likes having a buffer.
Erin was used to being speller 1 in her early years.
"Now, I have a sense of how difficult the words in that round are going to be," she said. "I can psychologically prepare myself."
Erin said she studied a lot to get here. She's kind of sad, she said, that this is the end.
"It hit me a couple days ago, I'm never going to do this again," she said. "It was an emotional moment."
The Alabama eighth grader spelled "deixis" correctly.