May 31 (UPI) — The 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee is kicking off on Wednesday for its 90th competition in which young spellers bout over orthography supremacy.
How to watch
Time: The preliminary rounds begin at 8 a.m Wednesday. The announcement of finalists is expected to occur at 6 p.m. at the latest. The finals begin 10 a.m. Thursday and are expected to last until 10:30 p.m. at the latest.
Where: Oxon Hill, Md.
Network: ESPN3 (preliminary rounds), ESPN2 (part 1 of finals) and ESPN (part 2 of finals).
Online, live: ESPN3 (preliminaries).
The E.W. Scripps Company said 291 children aged 6 to 15 will participate in this year’s event. Six-year-old Edith Fuller, from Tulsa, Okla., is the youngest-ever Bee competitor.
“Edith Fuller is the youngest speller to ever make it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And so far, she’s having fun,” Scripps said in a statement. “Edith competed in her first spelling bees this year, she said, and was surprised to keep winning. But she did. And she loves to spell. She’s speller 290 of 291, so she has a long wait before she gets to the microphone.”
This year’s competition is presented by Amazon Kindle and each of the nearly 300 participants will receive a Kindle Paperwhite and a one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online.
The champion of this year’s Bee will win a $40,000 in cash, a Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond, a complete reference library and $400 of reference works including a 1768 Encyclopedia Britannica Replica Set Deluxe Edition and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium
The winner will also receive trips to New York City for an appearance on the LIVE with Kelly and Ryan morning talk show and a trip to Hollywood, Calif., for an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late night talk show.
The second-place finalist receives a cash prize of $30,000 while the third place finalist receives $20,000.
Though the Bee began in 1925, it was suspended from 1943-1945 due to World War II.