30th Scripps National Spelling Bee

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30th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Date June 7, 1957
Location Department of Commerce auditorium, Washington, D.C.
Winner Dana Bennett / Sandra Owen (tie)
Age 13 / 14
Residence Denver, Colorado / Navarre, Ohio
Winning word schappe (last word, both failed to spell)
No. of contestants 67
Pronouncer Benson S. Alleman
Preceded by 29th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by 31st Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 30th Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, District of Columbia on June 7, 1957, by the E.W. Scripps Company.

67 contestants participated. The winners were Dana Bennett (age 13 of Denver) and Sandra Owen (age 14 of Navarre, Ohio), declared co-champions after the word list was exhausted. The final word was schappe, which both failed to correctly spell. The competition lasts 37 rounds, the last 14 with only the final two contestants. At one point Owen was overcome with tears, and Bennett became nauseated, leading to a 10-minute recess. Each winner received a $1000 prize and trip to New York. Owen had been the runner-up in the prior year's competition. This was the second-ever tie in the competition, the first occurring at the 1950 bee. The winners got to meet Vice President Richard Nixon on June 9.[1]

Third place went to Mary Gilliland, 13, of Fort Worth, Texas ($250 prize), who failed to properly spell eudaemonic in the 23rd round. Jolitta Schlehuber placed fourth, but returned to win the next year.[2][3]

The competition lasted from 9 am until 6:55 pm, and was the longest in the competition's history.[4][5] The competition moved to a two-day format for the first time the following year.[6]


  1. ^ (10 June 1957). Nixon Sees Winners of U.S. Spelling Bee, Toledo Blade
  2. ^ (8 June 1957). 2 Amazing Girls Tie For Title, St. Petersburg Times
  3. ^ (8 June 1957). Who Said Modern Kids Couldn't Spell?, Deseret News (United Press)
  4. ^ Williams, Joseph J. (8 June 1957). Karen Minsinger Places 23rd In Bee; Two Girls Tie for First, Pittsburgh Press
  5. ^ (20 May 1957). Here's What Spellers Are To Do in Capital, St. Petersburg Times
  6. ^ Twenty Remain Undefeated in Bee, Gettysburg Times (Associated Press)