82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee

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82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee
President Barack Obama greets Kavya Shivashankar, left, the 2009 Scripps Spelling Bee winner, and her family in the Oval Office, June 3, 2010.
Date May 26-29, 2009
Location Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.
Winner Kavya Shivashankar gowda
Age 13
Residence Olathe, Kansas
Sponsor The Olathe News
Sponsor location Olathe, Kansas
Winning word Laodicean
No. of contestants 293[1]
Pronouncer Jacques Bailly
Preceded by 81st Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee took place between May 26-28, 2009 in Washington, D.C..[2]


There were a record 293 spellers this year (the highest ever as of 2017). 41 spellers made it to the final day of competition on Thursday.[1]

The winner was Kavya Shivashankar.[2] Her winning word was Laodicean.[2] She was sponsored by The Olathe News.[2] She won $35,000 in cash and more than $5,000 in prizes. The runners-up were Aishwarya Pastapur, who misspelled menhir, and Tim Ruiter, who misspelled Maecenas.[3] This was Kavya's fourth appearance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Six of the top ten spellers, including the winner, were Indian-American.

The standings were as follows:[4]

TV coverage[edit]

The Championship Finals aired live on ABC from 8:00 PM to shortly after 10:00 p.m. EDT and were hosted by Tom Bergeron.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b (27 May 2009). 41 spellers make semifinals of national bee, NBC (Associated Press)
  2. ^ a b c d "13-year-old Kansan wins National Spelling Bee". Associated Press. May 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  3. ^ Summary of Round 15
  4. ^ Final Rankings