Can you Stick Around to the End of this Spelling Bee?

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The Scripps National Spelling Bee started in 1925 and has run almost every year since. The Bee’s purpose?  To help “students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.” So, no, crushing dreams and humiliating young spellers on national television are not the actual objectives. Still, every year students from all over the country participate in the nation’s oldest and most iconic competitions.

These adept spellers come from all walks of life. They progress from classroom to cafeteria, from auditorium to civic center, until they end up in (they hope) nationally televised finals. For this particular Bee, you’re going to have to make do without the TV cameras focused on you. On the plus side, you get longer to think of the right answer. Be forewarned; these words get progressively harder. Just imagine yourself standing at the microphone for round after round, knocking out your opponents.

Did you know?

Spelling Bee Fun Facts

Yes, we recognize the Spelling Bee is supposed to be about words. But, we wanted to give you a few numbers to think about too: The youngest speller to qualify for the bee was 5; Edith Fuller made it to the national finals in 2017. Texas has had the highest number of champion spellers at 11, with Ohio second at 9, and Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee tied for third at 7 each. It's not only Americans who compete— 1 Jamaican has claimed the title too. The Bee started in 1925, but the final hour of the contest began being broadcast on the radio in 1930. Television coverage began in 1946.


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