Scripps National Spelling Bee

20 Stories

Youngest-Ever Winner Is National Bee Co-Champ

11-year-old won with 'gesellschaft'

(Newser) - The words were tougher. The final rounds lasted longer. The result was the same. The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year Thursday night, with Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga declared co-champions after a roller-coaster finish. Jairam, 13, is the younger brother of the... More »

Scripps Spelling Bee's 6-Year-Old Competitor Says Goodbye

Akash Vukoti, this year's youngest contestant, missed 'bacteriolytic'

(Newser) - "Bacteriolytic" was what did Akash Vukoti in during the Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday, but considering he's only 6 years old, the fact that he appeared in the contest at all was no small feat, per NPR . The youngest of this year's 285 super-spellers, Akash used an... More »

'Scherenschnitte' Spells Tie in National Bee

This is the first time there's been 2 ties in a row

(Newser) - They couldn't be rattled. They couldn't be denied. Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar had worked too hard and come close too many times not to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. So they shared the title, making history in two different ways. The bee hadn't ended in... More »

After the Bee: What Happens to Whiz-Kid Spellers

Former victor likens the Scripps spelling contest to 'Hunger Games'

(Newser) - Tonight we get to see 285 young minds square off in the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals (8pm EDT on ESPN), and meet at least one more member of one of the world's most elite clubs: winners of the bee . Past victors describe to the Guardian the high stakes... More »

For First Time in 52 Years, Spelling Bee Ends in Tie

Co-champions exhausted Scripps word list

(Newser) - The dreaded bell that signals a misspelled word tolled for each of the last two spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. But in an exhilarating twist, it wasn't the end for either of them. Sriram Hathwar, 14, of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe, 13,... More »

Spelling Bee Champ Breaks 'German Curse'

Arvind Mahankali is first boy to win since 2008

(Newser) - This year's National Spelling Bee winner is a 13-year-old eighth-grader from New York. Arvind Mahankali triumphed on the word "knaidel," meaning dumpling, thus conquering his trouble with German-derived words; they've knocked him out of the running in the previous two competitions. "The German curse has... More »

National Spelling Bee Kicks Off With Unusual Twist

Up first: first-ever vocab test

(Newser) - Simply knowing how to spell words won't be enough to win the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee; for once, competitors will actually have to know what some words mean, too. The event kicked off today, with, for the first time in its history, a vocabulary test . Some 281 spellers... More »

National Bee Not Just About Spelling Anymore

281 contestants will need to answer vocab questions, too

(Newser) - This year, it won't be enough for National Spelling Bee contestants to know what words look like; they'll have to define them, too. Local contestants—who have all already been selected—will have to spell live and on a computer as well as answer vocabulary questions in order... More »

San Diego Teen Wins Spelling Bee

Eighth-grader Snigdha Nandipati has last word: guetapens

(Newser) - Word, dude. A San Diego eighth-grader has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee with the French-derived mind-bender "guetapens" in the 13th round of the hard-fought contest. Snigdha Nandipati, 14, beat out Stuti Mishra, 14, from Orlando, to scoop up a hefty trophy and $40,000 in cash and prizes.... More »

'Ingluvies' Foils 6-Year-Old's Spelling Bee Run

Lori Anne Madison eliminated from Scripps National Spelling Bee

(Newser) - Lori Anne Madison, at six years old the youngest Scripps National Spelling Bee contestant ever, got her first word correct yesterday: "dirigible." But in the next round, she stumbled on "ingluvies," starting the word with an "e" rather than an "i." (What does... More »

National Spelling Bee Opens With 'Witticism'

278 participants will be whittled down to 50

(Newser) - The 85th National Spelling Bee is under way. Thirteen-year-old Kevin Lazenby of Opelika, Ala., stepped to the microphone this morning at a convention center outside Washington and correctly spelled "witticism." The 278 participants won local and regional spelling bees to make the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Each gets... More »

Girl, 6, Is Youngest Ever in National Spelling Bee

Lori Anne Madison competing in Scripps National this week

(Newser) - Lori Anne Madison is blonde and adorable and talks at 100mph. In the last few weeks, she has won major awards in both swimming and math, but one accomplishment above all has made her an overnight national celebrity: This week, the precocious girl from Lake Ridge, Va., will be onstage... More »

Spelling Bee's Winning Word: Cymotrichous

8th-grader Sukanya Roy takes the top prize

(Newser) - Long after the time allotted by ESPN had passed, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was still going strong last night. The five remaining competitors were on a streak—21 correct words in a row—and one started to wonder "if they could declare five-way co-champions." But when the... More »

Spelling Bees R Obsolete

Why show off a skill rendered useless by machines?: Alexandra Petri

(Newser) - It’s time again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee—but these days, it’s more “hilarious” than educational, writes Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post . “What better way to announce to the world at large that you have a totally useless and unmarketable skill—besides, I guess,... More »

'Ibuprofen' a Real Headache at National Spelling Bee

Painkiller more familiar to adults eliminates an 11-year-old contestant

(Newser) - With words like "ineluctable" and "usufructuary," most adults wouldn't make it too far at the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee ... unless they happened to be dealt a word familiar to those suffering the pains of old age. "Ibuprofen" knocked out a sixth grader from Idaho... More »

The Toughest Words at Scripps Spelling Bee

Linguist explains which ones are the trickiest

(Newser) - The 84th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is under way, and before a winner is crowned on national television tomorrow night, thousands of really obscure words will be tackled by 275 kids ages 8 to 15. Twelve-year-old Kevin Lazenby of Opelika, Ala., kicked off round two today, notes the AP... More »

Ohio Teen Wins Bee Amid D-R-A-M-A

14-year-old Anamika Veeramani's winning word? 'Stromuhr'

(Newser) - Who says Cleveland can't win a championship? The long-suffering sports city captured one in a DC ballroom last night when 14-year-old Anamika Veeramani took first prize at the 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee, keeping a poker face as she spelled "stromuhr," and not cracking a smile until the... More »

Protesters Target 'Illogical Spelling' at Bee

'Enuf is enuf,' say spelling reform advocates

(Newser) - A small group of protesters, some of them dressed in bee costumes, gathered outside the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC yesterday to make their case for spelling reform. The protesters, representing the American Literacy Council, say the illogical spelling of the English language is holding back much of... More »

Kansas Girl Wins Spelling Bee With 'Laodicean'

Shivashankar becomes national spelling champ after getting 'laodicean' right

(Newser) - Cool and collected, Kavya Shivashankar wrote out every word on her palm and always ended with a smile. The 13-year-old Kansas girl saved the biggest smile for last, when she rattled off the letters to "Laodicean" to become the nation's spelling champion. The budding neurosurgeon outlasted 11 finalists tonight... More »

11 Make It to Spelling Bee Finals

Week began with record 293 spellers

(Newser) - Eleven youngsters have advanced to tonight's finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee after surviving today's three semifinal rounds, which began with 41 candidates. Only five were eliminated in the first round, then 20 exited in an extremely difficult second round that knocked out some returning favorites. Among the words... More »

20 Stories

AROUND THE WEB