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About the Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is an educational promotion sponsored by The E.W. Scripps Company in conjunction with sponsoring organizations around the world. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

The program takes place on two levels: local and national. Sponsors organize spelling bee programs in their locales and send their champions to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. The national program is coordinated by The E.W. Scripps Company corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to planning and conducting the national finals, the national office annually produces several word publications utilized by students, educators, and sponsors.

The program is open to students attending public, private, parochial, charter, virtual, and home schools. A comprehensive set of eligibility requirements may be found at www.spellingbee.com.

The National Spelling Bee was begun in 1925. Nine students participated in the first national finals. In 1942, Scripps acquired the rights to the program. There was no Scripps National Spelling Bee during the World War II years of 1943, 1944, and 1945. Of the 97 National Spelling Bee champions, 49 have been girls and 48 have been boys. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957, 1962, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee will involve more than 11 million students.