Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee – but it was Jacob Williamson who stole our hearts.
The 15-year-old eighth-grader from Cape Coral, Florida, quickly became a crowd favourite for his unbridled exuberance at the nationally-televised competition in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Jacob, a self-proclaimed Tim Tebow fan and avid numismatist (coin collector) put his stamp on the competition when he first stepped to the microphone, challenging Jacques Bailey, the official pronouncer of the spelling bee.
"Hi, Dr. Bailey," he said. "Please give me a word I know."
Questions about a word's origins or definition? Jacob didn't need them. If he knew the word, he'd just belt it out.
His first word was Euripus. "I know this!" he shrieked. He also knew harlequinade, celebrating before he even spelled the word.
Carchardont? No problem.
When Jacob learned he had made it through to the finals, his reaction was priceless. Unfortunately, Jacob's overconfidence got him in the end. With seven contestants remaining, he was given the word kabaragoya. Despite exuberantly squealing that he knew the word, he misspelled it – leading off with a "c" instead of a "k". Even his reaction in defeat was memorable.
Thank you, Jacob Williamson, for making this year's spelling bee must-watch TV.