Tejas Muthusamy, speller 143, is in his fourth and last Bee. The Virginia eighth grader spelled chryselephantine, composed of or adorned with gold and ivory. He asked about the Greek root chrys, meaning gold.
In a video, Tejas talked about not finishing as well last year as he had in the past. The defeat, he said, kept him from getting complacent.
"When I heard the bell, it was more than anything a sense of shock," he said. "I think I bounced back from that defeat pretty quickly."
Tejas said he is trying to be more confident.