National Spelling Bee Fast Facts

(CNN)Here is some background information about the National Spelling Bee, held in the spring every year in Washington, DC.

May 26-May 28, 2015 -
The 88th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is held.
Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, of Chesterfield, Missouri, and Vanya Shivashankar, 13, of Olathe, Kansas, are named co-champions of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition, the second set of co-champions in two years.
    Contestants must be 15 or younger and must not have passed beyond the eighth grade.
    Winning words have included: Laodicean, luge, therapy, croissant, milieu, lyceum, kamikaze, antediluvian, chiaroscurist, logorrhea, Purim, and knack.
    2015 Prizes:
    A $30,000 cash prize from Scripps as well as the Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy.
    A $2,500 U.S. savings bond and reference library from Merriam-Webster.
    Eleven hundred dollars in reference works from Encyclopædia Britannica.
    1925 -
    The Louisville Courier-Journal starts the event with nine contestants. Frank Neuhauser is the first winner, after spelling gladiolus correctly.
    1941 - Scripps Howard assumes sponsorship of the program.
    1943-1945 - There is no National Spelling Bee due to World War II.
    There were co-champions in 1950, 1957, 1962, 2014, and 2015.