March 21, 2015. Louisville, KY. – Paul Keaton of Pike County won the 22nd annual Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee today by correctly spelling “insentient” – without sensation or consciousness – in the Bomhard Theatre at the Kentucky Center for the Arts (501 W. Main Street in Louisville). Tara Singh representing private schools in Jefferson County, Ky., was runner-up in the competition among students from Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Keaton, 13, is an eighth grade student at Christ Central School in Pikeville, Ky. This is the second year in a row he has won the competition. His older sister, Emily Keaton, won the KDF Spelling Bee from 2010-2013. 62 students from 59 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana participated in today’s Spelling Bee, going through 191 words and 19 rounds before determining a champion.
“It’s been great to have a role model to look up to,” said Keaton. “Everybody in the family helps study. But we never compete against each other.”
For today’s win, Keaton received the John & Joan Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund, a $10,000 savings bond at maturity from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, the Derby Festival’s charitable arm. He also received a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Hasbro Scrabble game, an Amazon.com gift card and a trophy. Keaton will have the opportunity to ride on the Winner’s Float in the 60th annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on April 30th.
Tara Singh received a $5,000 savings bond for finishing runner-up in the 22nd annual competition. Erin Thompson of Kenton County, finished third, winning a $3,000 savings bond. Max Bograd of Fayette County finished fourth and received a $1,500 savings bond. Chris Rice of Nelson County finished fifth, winning a $1,000 savings bond.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee is sponsored by Ford Motor Company, with Media Sponsors Kentucky Monthly and 840WHAS
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.