"Chymotrypsinogen" Lands New Yorker 2nd Spot in National AARP Spelling Bee

Jul 15, 2013, 13:53 ET from AARP New York State

The 18th Annual Competition for spellers age 50+ was held in Cheyenne, WY over The Weekend – Olean, NY Woman Snags a Top Spot

NEW YORK, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just missing a shot at glory and some serious bragging rights, a New York woman saw her hopes of winning AARP's 2013 AARP National Spelling Bee dashed over the weekend in Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

The culprit? Chymotrypsinogen, a zymogen that is secreted by the pancreas and is converted by trypsin...and yes, it's even tougher to spell.

Lauren Maltz, 54, from Olean, New York, did land 2nd in a packed field of 50+ ace spellers from across the nation, taking home a check for $1,000.

The winner, Tony Johnson, 60, from Newnan, Ga., walked away with a $1,500 grand prize. Johnson, a practicing psychologist, correctly spelled "ytterbium," which means "a soft metallic element of the rare-earth group that occurs especially with other rare earth elements in minerals and that has few commercial uses" in the 25th round of the competition that began with 26 spellers from 16 states across America. Johnson had won the bee previously in 2011.

Third place with a prize of $750 went to Mary Ann Fenske, 65, from Wichita, Kan., who incorrectly spelled the word "aposematically."  Spellers ranged in age from 50 to 75.

The AARP National Spelling Bee competitors are all age 50 or older. The event was started in 1996 by a group of AARP members in Cheyenne who wanted a fun way to challenge their peers to keep their minds sharp as they age. The year's competition began with a 100-word written spelling test, narrowing the field of spellers to the top 16, who advanced to oral spelling finals.

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans 50+ and the world's largest-circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for the 50+ audience; AARP VIVA, a bilingual lifestyle multimedia platform addressing the interests and needs of Hispanic Americans; and national television and radio programming including My Generation and Inside E Street. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

SOURCE AARP New York State