A 12-year-old California boy is responsible for righting an error made in judging the finals of the National Spelling Bee contest, which aired on prime-time television Thursday.
When Lucas Brown, a 7th-grader from Poway, Calif., realized the judges had mistakenly eliminated a contestant in round eight, he spoke up — and Saryn Hooks returned to the competition. She eventually took third place.
The word was "hechsher" — a formal approval of an item as kosher, delivered by a rabbi. When officials learned Hooks had indeed spelled the word correctly, she was returned to the stage.
Brown, whose sister, Julie, was a contestant in the bee, sat in the audience, following along in a digital dictionary on his lap-top computer. Robert Siegel talks with Lucas Brown.