This year an innovation of projecting raffle numbers on the wall of the Gilmer Civic Center auditorium expedited matters so efficiently that the Bee ended by 8:45 p.m., perhaps the earliest close on record. Individuals came forward with their raffle tickets even while the spelling continued.
All teams survived the first round by the expedient of making the first a practice round. Thus players learned to leave their notepads at their chairs and to watch their spelling overs, since no corrections are allowed.
It was one such correction during the spelling of “malignant” that cost the team from ETMC Gilmer their spot on the stage. Extra letters on “dispel” took down Austin Bank, and an extra “e” in “calorimetric” eliminated the “Ministerial Team” sponsored by Croley Funeral Home.
Nerves always come into play, and nevermore so than when the Aggies started to spell “emulsify.” The speller got to “e-m-u-l-i-s....” when she realized her error and that the rules allow for no correction of the spelling.
The Teacher Bees jumped into the breech, spelled emulsify, and then followed with the spelling of biennium to win.