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National Spelling Bee

The National Spelling Bee was launched by the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal in 1925. With competitions, cash prizes, and a trip to the nation's capital, it was hoped the Bee would stimulate “general interest among pupils in a dull subject.” The Scripps Howard News Service took over the Bee in 1941. Over the years the national finals have grown from a mere 9 contestants to 281. In 2014, there were two winners of the bee—a conclusion that has only happened three other times in Bee history, and not since 1962. Sriram Hathwar, a 14-year-old from Painted Post, N.Y. and Ansun Sujoe, a 13-year-old from Forth Worth, Tex. shared the spotlight as co-champions after 22 rounds of spelling. After exhausting the entire bank of spelling challenges, each took home over $30,000 in cash, scholarships and bonds, among other prizes, for correctly spelling "stichomythia" and "feuilleton," respectively. Here are the winning words that made past spellers into national champions.

Try the daily Fact Monster Spelling Bee.


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