He couldn’t bee cuter! This year’s youngest contestant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee was 6-year-old Akash Vukoti, who is not only incredibly smart but also pretty darn adorable. Although he was eliminated on May 25 for misspelling “bacteriolytic” in round 3, he was definitely the star of the show.
Akash, who is only in first grade, competed against kids as old as 14 who have been to the bee multiple times. The little genius is home-schooled in San Angelo, Texas, and has been competing in spelling bees since he was 2, according to his hometown paper Standard-Times. Before he appeared for the on-stage portion of the competition, Akash successfully completed a written test of spelling and vocabulary in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 24.
While the crowd politely clapped for most contestants, Akash got huge cheers on each turn and a standing ovation when he was eliminated. Prior to stealing the show at the spelling contest, Akash had frequently appeared on NBC’s Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey.
In an adorable video from Vox, Akash shares his favorite word, “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” (which, if you’re wondering, is a lung disease caused by volcanic dust). He also shared his tips for getting every letter correct, including asking for alternate pronunciations, language of origin or definition.
The final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee airs on ESPN Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET.
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