• KYW- News At 5/6 PM
    05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the two winners of the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee visited Philadelphia today, to explore his future career aspirations.

Fourteen-year-old Sriram Hathwar, who lives in New York State, was one of two young men who tied for first place this year at the National Spelling Bee, in Washington DC.  He says he’s proud of the honor, which he adds came after at least six years of studying the dictionary.

“Well, I started in second grade, so I guess I finished in eighth grade,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “But, I mean, it’s hard to learn all 480,000 words in the dictionary.  I don’t know whether I learned all of them, but I know that I was at least exposed to all of them.”

Soon after his win, the folks at Wills Eye Hospital invited him here for a visit.

“For the Scripps National Spelling Bee they wanted to see what I wanted to be when I grew up, so then I guess the people here saw that I was interested in this field, so they invited me here to Philadelphia.”

He says he had developed a personal interest in vision and eyes long before.

“After getting glasses, I did a report on it in sixth grade, and I learned all the anatomy and physiology, and then the diseases and treatments,” he recalls.

And he says he’d one day like to be an ophthalmologist:

“Ophthalmologist. O-P-H-T-H-A-L-M-O-L-O-L-O-G-I-S-T. Ophthalmologist,” he recited agreeably after a reporter’s request.

He says spelling has helped him understand language patterns:

“Even the way I remember ophthalmology is the ffth (sound) is from the PH.”   Good to know.


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