Good Sports: THE BENEFITS OF THE SPELLING BEE
Scores of Indian-American children spend untold hours studying words and dreaming of becoming a National Spelling Bee champion. Is it all worth it? For Pratyush Buddiga, the 2002 champion, it certainly was—in more ways than one. His spelling success led him to success in professional poker, in which he has earned millions of dollars in prize money.
“The idea that helped me is that I could be the best at something if I worked hard at it,” he told The Washington Post. “That’s something the spelling bee has done for me throughout my life. No matter what I do I could look back and say, ‘Okay, I was the best in the country at something. I can do it again.’ Especially poker. Whenever I’ve felt particularly down or not sure if I could become as good as I wanted to be, I could think back to the bee and what happened there and think, ‘Okay, all you have to do is work harder, be better, and get better resources, and you can get there.’”
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