Spelling Bee Goof: “Numb What?!”

Hey, remember laughing at Miss Teen USA South Carolina being an idiot on national television, and then feeling a bit guilty about making fun of someone having a really bad day? Well, this weekend at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old Sameer Mishra won the grand prize after correctly spelling the word “guerdon.” But a few rounds beforehand, he was slipped a far trickier word — “numnah”. Which yes, if you say it out loud, does sound like…

Mishra quickly recovers from his initial mistake with dignity and good humor; it’s a mistake, after all, that the much-older commentators on this clip make moments before Mishra first speaks. And while everyone in the room laughs, it never feels particularly mean-spirited. Maybe Mishra’s classmates at school will give him a bit of a hard time for saying “numbnuts” on TV, but Mishra winning first prize means that he’s just received $35,000 worth of reasons for them to be quiet. So the beauty of this funny little moment? It’s not really embarrassing for anyone and as such, is that most rare of events: a pain-free pratfall.