List of Scripps National Spelling Bee champions

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George W. Bush and his wife Laura meeting Spelling Bee champion Kerry Close
Kerry Close, the winner of the 2006 Bee, meeting President George W. Bush and his wife Laura at the White House after her victory.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee (formerly the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee and commonly called the National Spelling Bee) is an annual spelling bee held in the United States. The competition began in 1925,[1] and was initially organized by The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, until the Scripps Howard Broadcasting Company (now the E. W. Scripps Company) assumed sponsorship in 1941. Every speller in the competition has previously participated in a local spelling bee, usually organized by a local newspaper.[2]

The first champion was Frank Neuhauser of Louisville, who beat eight other finalists to win the inaugural competition.[3] He was honored with a parade in his hometown and returned to the Bee a number of times as a guest of honor.[3] The first girl to win was Pauline Bell, also of Louisville, the following year. Girls won nine consecutive competitions from 1932 to 1940. Joint winners have been crowned on seven occasions in the Bee's history. The first such occurrence was in 1950, when Dean Colquitt and Diana Reynard were declared co-champions after the contestants had exhausted the list of available words.[4] In both 1957 and 1962 joint champions were declared when both remaining contestants spelled the same word incorrectly.[5][6] After three consecutive ties between 2014 and 2016, a written tiebreaker round was introduced, but it was discontinued for the 2019 Bee,[7] which subsequently resulted in an unprecedented eight-way tie when the organizers ended the final session after the remaining contestants had completed five consecutive perfect rounds.[8]

Although the competition is titled "National", it is not restricted to spellers from the United States. In 1975 Hugh Tosteson García of San Juan, Puerto Rico was the first winner from outside the mainland United States.[9] In 1998, Jody-Anne Maxwell from Jamaica became the first speller from outside the US to win the Bee,[9][10] as well as the first black winner.[11] In recent decades the competition has been dominated by Indian-American students.[12] Although people of South Asian origin make up less than one percent of the U.S. population,[12] the vast majority of the winners since 1999, including all fourteen champions between 2008–2018 and seven of the eight co-champions in 2019, have come from the Indian-American community.[1][12] One such speller, Nihar Janga from Austin, Texas, became the youngest champion in the Bee's history when he won the title in 2016 at the age of 11.[13]

Champions[edit]

Everett Sanders shaking hands with Spelling Bee champion Betty Robinson
The Secretary to the President, Everett Sanders congratulating Betty Robinson, the winner of the 1928 Bee.
Barack Obama meeting Spelling Bee champion Kavya Shivashankar and her family
Kavya Shivashankar, the 2009 winner, meeting President Barack Obama.
Spelling Bee champion Sukanya Roy
Sukanya Roy, the winner of the 2011 competition.
dagger Joint champions
Edition Year Competition-ending word[14] Winner[14] Sponsor[14] Sponsor's location[14]
1st 1925 gladiolus Frank Neuhauser The Courier-Journal Louisville, Kentucky
2nd 1926 cerise Pauline Bell The Courier-Journal Louisville, Kentucky
3rd 1927 abrogate Dean Lucas Akron Beacon Journal Akron, Ohio
4th 1928 knack Betty Robinson South Bend News-Times South Bend, Indiana
5th 1929 luxuriance
Virginia Hogan Omaha World-Herald Omaha, Nebraska
6th 1930 albumen Helen Jensen The Des Moines Register and Tribune Des Moines, Iowa
7th 1931 foulard Ward Randall White Hall Register-Republican White Hall, Illinois
8th 1932 invulnerable Dorothy Greenwald The Des Moines Register and Tribune Des Moines, Iowa
9th 1933 torsion Alma Roach Akron Beacon Journal Akron, Ohio
10th 1934 brethren Sarah Wilson Portland Evening Express Portland, Maine
11th 1935 intelligible Clara Mohler Akron Beacon Journal Akron, Ohio
12th 1936 eczema Jean Trowbridge The Des Moines Register and Tribune Des Moines, Iowa
13th 1937 promiscuous Waneeta Beckley The Courier-Journal Louisville, Kentucky
14th 1938 sanitarium Marian Richardson The Louisville Times Louisville, Kentucky
15th 1939 canonical Elizabeth Ann Rice Telegram & Gazette Worcester, Massachusetts
16th 1940 therapy Laurel Kuykendall The Knoxville News-Sentinel Knoxville, Tennessee
17th 1941 initials Louis Edward Sissman The Detroit News Detroit, Michigan
18th 1942 sacrilegious Richard Earnhart El Paso Herald-Post El Paso, Texas
19th 1946 semaphore John McKinney The Des Moines Register and Tribune Des Moines, Iowa
20th 1947 chlorophyll Mattie Lou Pollard Atlanta Journal Atlanta, Georgia
21st 1948 psychiatry Jean Chappelear Akron Beacon Journal Akron, Ohio
22nd 1949 onerous Kim Calvin Canton Repository Canton, Ohio
23rd 1950 meticulosity Diana Reynarddagger Cleveland Press Cleveland, Ohio
Colquitt Deandagger Atlanta Journal Atlanta, Georgia
24th 1951 insouciant Irving Belz Memphis Press Scimitar Memphis, Tennessee
25th 1952 vignette Doris Ann Hall Winston-Salem Journal Winston-Salem, North Carolina
26th 1953 soubrette Elizabeth Hess Arizona Republic Phoenix, Arizona
27th 1954 transept William Cashore Norristown Times Herald Norristown, Pennsylvania
28th 1955 crustaceology Sandra Sloss St. Louis Globe-Democrat St. Louis, Missouri
29th 1956 condominium Melody Sachko Pittsburgh Press Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
30th 1957 schappe Dana Bennettdagger Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
Sandra Owendagger Canton Repository Canton, Ohio
31st 1958 syllepsis Jolitta Schlehuber Topeka Daily Capital Topeka, Kansas
32nd 1959 catamaran Joel Montgomery Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
33rd 1960 eudaemonic Henry Feldman The Knoxville News-Sentinel Knoxville, Tennessee
34th 1961 smaragdine John Capehart Tulsa Tribune Tulsa, Oklahoma
35th 1962 esquamulose Nettie Crawforddagger El Paso Herald-Post El Paso, Texas
Michael Daydagger St. Louis Globe-Democrat St. Louis, Missouri
36th 1963 equipage Glen Van Slyke III The Knoxville News-Sentinel Knoxville, Tennessee
37th 1964 sycophant William Kerek Akron Beacon Journal Akron, Ohio
38th 1965 eczema Michael Kerpan Jr. Tulsa Tribune Tulsa, Oklahoma
39th 1966 ratoon Robert A. Wake Houston Chronicle Houston, Texas
40th 1967 chihuahua Jennifer Reinke The Omaha World-Herald Omaha, Nebraska
41st 1968 abalone Robert L. Walters The Topeka Daily Capital Topeka, Kansas
42nd 1969 interlocutory Susan Yoachum Dallas Morning News Dallas, Texas
43rd 1970 croissant Libby Childress Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel Winston-Salem, North Carolina
44th 1971 shalloon Jonathan Knisely Philadelphia Bulletin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
45th 1972 macerate Robin Kral Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Lubbock, Texas
46th 1973 vouchsafe Barrie Trinkle Fort Worth Press Fort Worth, Texas
47th 1974 hydrophyte Julie Ann Junkin Birmingham Post-Herald Birmingham, Alabama
48th 1975 incisor Hugh Tosteson García San Juan Star San Juan, Puerto Rico
49th 1976 narcolepsy Tim Kneale Syracuse Herald-Journal Syracuse, New York
50th 1977 cambist John Paola The Pittsburgh Press Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
51st 1978 deification Peg McCarthy The Topeka Capital-Journal Topeka, Kansas
52nd 1979 maculature Katie Kerwin Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
53rd 1980 elucubrate Jacques Bailly Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
54th 1981 sarcophagus Paige Pipkin El Paso Herald-Post El Paso, Texas
55th 1982 psoriasis Molly Dieveney Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
56th 1983 Purim Blake Giddens El Paso Herald-Post El Paso, Texas
57th 1984 luge Daniel Greenblatt Loudoun Times-Mirror Leesburg, Virginia
58th 1985 milieu Balu Natarajan Chicago Tribune Chicago, Illinois
59th 1986 odontalgia Jon Pennington The Patriot News Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
60th 1987 staphylococci Stephanie Petit The Pittsburgh Press Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
61st 1988 elegiacal Rageshree Ramachandran The Sacramento Bee Sacramento, California
62nd 1989 spoliator Scott Isaacs Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
63rd 1990 fibranne Amy Marie Dimak The Seattle Times Seattle, Washington
64th 1991 antipyretic Joanne Lagatta Wisconsin State Journal Clintonville, Wisconsin
65th 1992 lyceum Amanda Goad The Richmond News Leader Richmond, Virginia
66th 1993 kamikaze Geoff Hooper The Commercial Appeal Memphis, Tennessee
67th 1994 antediluvian Ned G. Andrews The Knoxville News-Sentinel Knoxville, Tennessee
68th 1995 xanthosis Justin Tyler Carroll The Commercial Appeal Memphis, Tennessee
69th 1996 vivisepulture Wendy Guey The Palm Beach Post West Palm Beach, Florida
70th 1997 euonym Rebecca Sealfon New York Daily News New York City
71st 1998 chiaroscurist Jody-Anne Maxwell Phillips & Phillips Stationery Suppliers Kingston, Jamaica
72nd 1999 logorrhea Nupur Lala The Tampa Tribune Tampa, Florida
73rd 2000 demarche George Thampy St. Louis Post-Dispatch St. Louis, Missouri
74th 2001 succedaneum Sean Conley Aitkin Independent Age Aitkin, Minnesota
75th 2002 prospicience Pratyush Buddiga Rocky Mountain News Denver, Colorado
76th 2003 pococurante Sai Gunturi Dallas Morning News Dallas, Texas
77th 2004 autochthonous David Tidmarsh South Bend Tribune South Bend, Indiana
78th 2005 appoggiatura Anurag Kashyap San Diego Union-Tribune San Diego, California
79th 2006 Ursprache Kerry Close Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune Spring Lake, New Jersey
80th 2007 serrefine Evan O'Dorney Contra Costa Times Walnut Creek, California
81st 2008 guerdon Sameer Mishra Journal & Courier West Lafayette, Indiana
82nd 2009 Laodicean Kavya Shivashankar The Olathe News Olathe, Kansas
83rd 2010 stromuhr Anamika Veeramani The Plain Dealer Cleveland, Ohio
84th 2011 cymotrichous Sukanya Roy Times Leader Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
85th 2012 guetapens Snigdha Nandipati U-T San Diego San Diego, California
86th 2013 knaidel Arvind Mahankali New York Daily News New York City
87th 2014 stichomythia Sriram J. Hathwardagger Corning Rotary Club Corning, New York
feuilleton Ansun Sujoedagger Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas
88th 2015 scherenschnitte Vanya Shivashankardagger The Olathe News Olathe, Kansas
nunatak Gokul Venkatachalamdagger St. Louis Post-Dispatch St. Louis, Missouri
89th 2016 Feldenkrais Jairam Hathwardagger Corning Rotary Club Corning, New York
gesellschaft Nihar Saireddy Jangadagger Houston Public Media Austin, Texas
90th 2017 marocain Ananya Vinay The Fresno Bee Fresno, California
91st 2018 koinonia Karthik Nemmani Scoggins Middle School McKinney, Texas
92nd 2019 auslaut Rishik Gandhasridagger Bay Area Regional Spelling Bee San Jose, California
erysipelas Erin Howarddagger Adventure Travel Huntsville, Alabama
bougainvillea Saketh Sundardagger Howard County Library Clarksville, Maryland
aiguillette Shruthika Padhydagger Rosa International Middle School Cherry Hill, New Jersey
pendeloque Sohum Sukhatankardagger Dallas Sports Commission Dallas, Texas
palama Abhijay Kodalidagger Dallas Sports Commission Flower Mound, Texas
cernuous Christopher Serraodagger Discover Lehigh Valley Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
odylic Rohan Rajadagger Dallas Sports Commission Irving, Texas

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Spelling Bee: Record eight children win Scripps National in the US". BBC News. May 31, 2019. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "History". Scripps National Spelling Bee. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (March 22, 2011). "Frank Neuhauser, a Speller's Speller, Dies at 97". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 2, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  4. ^ "Gnarled with a "K"". Time. June 5, 1950. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  5. ^ "O-R-D-E-A-L in Washington". Time. June 17, 1957. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  6. ^ "Spelling Bee Is Called Draw". Kentucky New Era. June 7, 1962. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  7. ^ Nuckols, Ben (May 1, 2019). "National Spelling Bee ditches its tiebreaker". The Columbian. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Zimmer, Ben (May 31, 2019). "How Eight Middle Schoolers Toppled the Scripps Spelling Bee". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Archibold, Randal (May 29, 1998). "Placed in the Shadows By a Chiaroscurist". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  10. ^ "Jamaican Girl Crowned National Spelling Champ". CNN. May 28, 1998. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  11. ^ "Spelling Her Way to Success". Ebony. May 1998. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Basu, Moni (May 29, 2015). "Why South Asians win spelling bees: P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E". CNN. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  13. ^ Garcia, Feliks (May 27, 2016). "National Spelling Bee crowns youngest champion in history". The Independent. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d "About the Bee". Scripps National Spelling Bee. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.

External links[edit]