Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. Fans of the National Spelling Bee will watch with enthusiasm on May 30 as students flex their wordsmith muscles in front of the country.
It happens every year. Scores of fresh-faced students take to a stage and show off their spelling skills under the gaze of TV cameras and the watchful eyes of their nervous parents and teachers. But when and how can you watch the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals and what other tidbits do you need to know about the annual event? Here’s what we know:
The National Spelling Bee Finals will take place on May 30 and will air at 8:30pm ET. Fans wanting to watch the nerve-wracking event can tune in on ESPN, which is also streaming the competition live on its website HERE.
The event will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland in the Maryland Ballroom. There are strict rules about what the contestants can wear on stage, according to the official competition rules. “Unacceptable forms of dress” include “accessories or clothing” that feature a logo or brand name as well as jackets, coats, shorts, miniskirts and tank tops, according to the National Spelling Bee website.
The champion will receive an engraved trophy in addition to a $50,000 cash prize from the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The lucky child will also be given $2,500 and a reference library from Merriam-Webster. He or she will also receive $400 of reference works, courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica. Let’s not forget the trip to New York to appear on Live With Kelly & Ryan and trip to Los Angeles, California where the winner will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Those spellers who don’t win don’t go away emptyhanded. They will receive a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online.
This year a total of 562 spellers made it to the final rounds. The contestants came from all around the world. In addition to the 50 U.S. states, students from Canada, Germany, Jamaica and Japan were among those who threw their hat in the ring. This year nine siblings competed and 162 contestants are returning spellers. The majority of students – 65 percent – went to public school. This year, only contestants who were under 15-years-old on or before Aug. 31, 2018 could compete.