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 278. In 2013, Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y. took home over $30,000 in cash, scholarships and bonds, among other prizes, for correctly spelling "knaidel," a German-derived Yiddish word meaning small mass of leavened dough. Here are the winning words that made past spellers into national champions.

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