National Spelling Bee fast facts

Here's a look at what you need to know about the National Spelling Bee, held in the spring every year in Washington, DC.

May 25-May 30, 2015 -
The 88th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held.

May 27-May 29, 2014 - The 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is held.

Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar became co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. Sujoe spelled the word "feuilleton" and Hathwar spelled the word "stichomythia." They both spelled their words correctly as they exhausted the words on the bee's list, becoming the first co-champions since 1962.

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.

The 2014 champions of the spelling bee won:

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.

Twelve hundred dollars in reference works from Encyclopædia Britannica.

Spelling Bee statistics

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, and 2014.