Arlington Senior Wins AARP Spelling Bee
Michael Petrina, Jr.'s winning word: rhizoctonia.
A 67-year-old Arlington man recently won the AARP National Spelling Bee after correctly spelling “rhizoctonia.”
This is the second spelling bee win for Michael Petrina, Jr., according to a press release from the AARP. Petrina, a retired attorney, also won in 2009 and placed second in 2011 and 2008. He beat out 48 others in the national contest that took place in Wyoming last weekend.
The winning word, rhizoctonia (rhy-zahk-TOH’-nee-uh) is a genus of asexual, anamorphic fungi known for causing crop decay.
“I’ve entered the AARP bee because of the mental discipline and challenge in preparing for it, and because of the great people I have met each year I have participated,” Petrina told the AARP.
His prize includes $1,000 and a five-year AARP membership.
The spelling bee is open to anyone 50 and older; this year’s bee attracted more than 50 competitors from 24 states.