6-year-old spelling himself a bright future

Akash Vukoti has had a talent for spelling words since he was two
Akash Vukoti has had a talent for spelling wo... 01:46

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Just 6 years old, Akash Vukoti is by far the youngest contestant at this year's National Spelling Bee. And he's not even a little intimidated by all those seasoned veterans.

He was 2 years old when his family discovered his almost-scary talent. He's not much on chitchat. Does he love spelling?

"Yeah," he responds.

But he loves to show off. His favorite word: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

Yes, the longest word in the dictionary and for Akash it is, literally, child's play.

So how does he do it? He told CBS News the words appear to him.

"So when I say a letter, the letter in that word will disappear," he explained.

His father was thrilled to tell us that's the first time Akash revealed the whole secret.

But we had one more question: Can he spell the word adorable?

And Akash is adorable, even in defeat. Late Wednesday, he misspelled bacteriolytic and is out of the tournament.

He got a standing ovation -- and you can bet he'll be back next year.

  • Chip-Reid_bio_140x100_bw.jpg
    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.