PORTLAND, Maine — A 12-year-old homeschooled boy from Brooklin on Saturday won the Maine State Spelling Bee
Brandon Aponte spelled the word “crambo” to win.
Crambo is a rhyming game, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Brandon, the son of Louise and Juan Aponte, both 45, of Brooklin, said Sunday that he beat last year’s winner, Nat Jordan of Cape Elizabeth to win.
“He was a great competitor and very nice,” Brandon said of the boy he beat. “He told me a bit about Nationals.”
That is the next step in the competition, he said. The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held late next month in Washington, D.C.
Brandon said that for the past month, he has been practicing two to three hours a day, five days a week, using the lists of words provided by the contest and words he looked up on his own.
“Last year, I had not studied words off the list and [Nat] beat me,” he said Sunday. “This year, I studied 2,000 to 3,000 more words.”
Brandon said that before he begins studying for the national contest, he will compete Friday in Farmington at the 25th annual National Geographic Bee for Maine.