The first Bee Spelling Bee Champion has come a long way to the title

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sam Evans thinks his last shot competing in Scripps National Spelling Bee might have ended before it even started.

“I just moved here from South Florida about five months ago. It was a wonderful place. I really like it,” the eighth grader said just minutes after winning the 2022 First Coast Spelling Bee.

Evans and his parents were heartbroken to learn of their new home in St. Johns proceeded to spell the bee. That’s when Evanses called News4JAX to seek help. The local station contacted 13 other local counties not yet crowned county champions to see if they would allow homeschooled students to participate in their competition.

14 local county spelling counties become competitive champions in the first Coastal Spelling Competition of 2022.

Union County welcomed him with open arms. Evans won the bee of that county. His winning word is “Richter scale”. That brought him to the First Coast Spelling Bee on Friday, hosted virtually by WJXT-Channel 4. The winner will be eligible to represent Northeast Florida in the national finals.


“I have competed in regional tournaments for a long time. I just had fun this year,” Evans said.

The fun continued as he beat 13 other local county champions to be crowned as the inaugural 2022 Bee Spelling Bee champion, bringing him to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington. , DC this May.

From his victory: residents.

“I’m glad I knew that,” Evans said.

Evans has been participating in spelling competitions for five years. As an 8th grader, this will be his last chance to qualify for the national tournament, as the competition is open to elementary and middle school students. “I have wanted to go for a long time. So like, just being there would be a great opportunity. Get around all the other cameramen and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

2022 Finalist of the 1st Spelling Competition on the Coast

– Kaleb Hilliard

block 5

Nassau Co.

– Alexander Murnahan

6th Grade

Bradford Co.

– Addison Webb

grade 8

Suwannee Co.

– Cindy Kim

grade 8


Columbia Co.

– Samuel Evans

grade 8

Union Co.

– Spence Edelstein


Flagler Co.

– Kaitlynn Wilson

6th Grade

Putnam Co.

– Jeevan George

block 5

Alachua Co.

– Rena Reddish

Grade 7

Clay Co.

– Marvin Mattair

grade 8

Madison Co.

– Ernest Quesada

Grade 7

Duval Co.

– Deeksha Hariharan

6th Grade

St. Johns Co.

– Kaylyn Murphy

6th Grade

Hamilton Co.

– Dallas Norman

Grade 7

Baker Co.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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