Spelling Bee

Spelling champs to compete in national bee for bigger prize this year

The nation's capital is hosting another group of super-smart students just a week after the National Geographic Bee. This batch may not know how to find every spot on the map, but you can bet they can spell it. The 273 boys and girls are contestants in the 78th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. All the contestants take a written test today, then face oral quizzing from a list of some 950 specially chosen words. This year, the nine to 14 year-old students will compete for 28-thousand dollars in cash, scholarships and bonds, plus a set of encyclopedias and other books from Encyclopedia Britannica. Last year's winner, David Tidmarsh, snagged the title with "autochthonous, meaning indigenous. He took home 12-thousand dollars, an engraved cup, and other prizes.