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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.

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