Meet the National Spelling Bee's youngest contestant

6-year-old Akash Vukoti steals the show.

Meet Akash Vukoti of San Angelo, Texas. At just six years old, he is the youngest contestant -- and the first first-grader -- among 285 contenders at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Although he misspelled "bacteriolytic" and was knocked out of the competition in Round 3, young Akash charmed the heck out of the crowd. He received a standing ovation and high fives as he left the stage.

Here's a fun video of Akash talking about how he got started in his spelling bee career. He also offers some helpful spelling bee tips and shares his favorite word, "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanocon­iosis." (It's a lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust. I had to look it up.)

He was also featured in this official promo ad for the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

Akash has been competing in spelling bees for more than half his life -- four years, since the age of 2. He can also read and write fluently in Telugu and Hindi, and aspires to grow up to be both an astronaut and an actor.

An "astroactor," he says.

But first, he's got a pretty promising competitive spelling career ahead him. Although he's been eliminated from this year's competition, you can be he'll be back and in it to win it.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals will be broadcast Thursday at 8:00pm ET on ESPN.

More here: Meet Akash Vukoti: Youngest bee contestant, aspiring 'astroactor'


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