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11 Awesome Scripps National Spelling Bee Facts

Posted at 10:13 AM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 18:09:40-04

The Scripps National Spelling Bee got under way today and be warned, in the 88 Bees, the most frequently asked word has been "connoisseur." Jimmy Rhoades looks at the Scripps National Spelling Bee by the n-u-m-b-e-r-s!


1. More than 11 million students vie for the chance to be one of the 285 participants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.


2. 8th grade is the end of the line for spellers. Once you pass 8th grade, you're too old!


3. Last year, there were 118 8th graders in the 2015 Bee and one 3rd grader.


4. 14 was how old Jacques Bailly was when he won the bee in 1980 by correctly spelling "elucubrate." You now know him as Dr. Jacques Bailly, the guy who's been the spelling bee's official pronouncer since 2003.


5. Scripps National Spelling Bee was the most tweeted about TV show during the week of May 25 last year, beating competition like Game of Thrones and The Bachelorette.


6.  $40,000 in cash is the first prize, along with a trophy, a bunch of reference materials, and an all-expense paid trip to New York to appear on Kelly Ripa’s show and whoever her co-host is that day.


7. Two former champions have also won the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament.


 8. 472,000 words are contained in the Bee's official dictionary, Webster's Third New International Dictionary.


9.  All 21 consonants, when spelled out, are actual words, so you better know how to spell them!


10. Two minutes is how long kids have to spell a word once it's pronounced.  The timing device, a traffic light, shows green for 75 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of yellow and 30 of red.


11.  Zero words are allowed if officials think there could be a "giggle factor." As they say, a word like 'titillation' might cause a sixth, seventh or eighth-grader to giggle.


That’s 11 awesome facts about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, b-e-e!


What's your favorite part about the Scripps National Spelling Bee? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV!