Agony and ecstasy as Spelling Bee begins

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Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during round two of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, reaches for the microphone during the second round. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Naomi Li, of Center Valley, Pa., thinks about her word during the second round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, concentrates as she spells her word correctly in the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Nathan Dugan, of Canton, Ohio, spells his word "cantankerous" during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Nejat Alkadir, 13, of Ledford, N.C., nervously spells her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Pranav Sivakumar, 12, of Tower Lakes, Ill., spells his word during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Dylan O'Connor, of Alexandria Bay, N.Y., spells his word during the second round of the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Nathaniel Britton, 11, of Macomb, Mich., reacts after misspelling a word during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Coralee Ashley Tibeingana Ahabwe Wade LaRue, of Vinyard Haven, Mass., spells her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Emily McGraw of Lafayette, La., reacts as her word is read during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Contestants celebrate after learning they qualified for the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md. From left, Lena Greenberg, of Philadelphia, Penn., Abigail Violet Spitzer, of El Paso, Texas, Sruti Akula, of Horseheads, N.Y., Stuti Mishra, of West Melbourne, Fla, and Cristal Schermeister, of Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Abigal Violet Spitzer (left), of El Paso, Texas, hugs Vismaya Jui Kharkar of Bountiful, Utah, after learning they both qualified for the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Eboseremhen Eigbe, 12, of Galloway, N.J, watches a speller struggle to spell a word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Shruti Amin (left), 14, of Murrieta, Calif., watches as Jack Maglalang, 12, of Orangevale, Calif., reacts after spelling a word wrong. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Adam Ferrari, 14, of Johnstown, New York, spells out a word with his finger next to Dean Creedon, 10, of Oceanside, New York, while listening to a fellow speller compete in the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Eboseremhen Eigbe, of Galloway, N.J., yawns during the second round of National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Dylan Bird, 13, of Pebble Beach, Calif., listens to fellow spellers during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Contestants in the National Spelling Bee take the written exam on computers in Oxon Hill, Md., on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Parents snap photos of contestants during the National Spelling Bee.
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Kayla Sheffield, 13, of Fort Myers, Fla., wears different colored shoe laces as she waits to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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