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Scripps National Spelling Bee to host 234 spellers at 2022 Bee Week

May 4, 2022 By Rebecca McCarter

CINCINNATI – The Scripps National Spelling Bee will welcome 234 spellers to National Harbor, Maryland, from May 31-June 2 for the national rounds of competition and the first fully in-person Bee since 2019.

The competitors advanced through local and regional bees that took place through April. The preliminaries are May 31, the quarterfinals and semifinals June 1 and the finals on June 2. The semifinals and finals will be televised on ION and Bounce and hosted by accomplished actor, director, educator and lifelong children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton.

Highlights of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee field:

  • Four countries are represented in addition to the U.S: the Bahamas, Canada, Germany and Ghana. There are also spellers from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.
  • The national qualifiers range in age from 7 to 15.
  • 45 have previously competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • 23 have relatives who are former national competitors.
  • Four were finalists in 2021, including three who tied for fourth place.
  • The champion will receive a $50,000 cash prize.

Find more information on the field of 2022 national competitors at spellingbee.com.

The 2022 competition marks a return to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside of Washington, D.C. The Bee was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was held in a mostly virtual format in 2021. The 2021 finals, which featured 11 spellers, were held in-person at ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando in order to facilitate pandemic-related safety protocols. Zaila Avant-garde was the 2021 champion, becoming the first Black American to win the Bee.

“The 2022 national competitors represent a diverse group of dedicated, hardworking and perseverant students,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “As they prepare for their moment at the microphone, the Bee is working to make the whole week an unforgettable experience for them – both on and offstage.

“This year, our spellers will participate in brand-new Bee Week opportunities that ignite their curiosity and help them connect with the world around them – central pieces of the Bee’s commitment to illuminate pathways to lifelong learning. We hope to make it a once-in-a-lifetime moment for every student who attends.”

Spellers will have the chance to participate in experiences ranging from activities that inspire fun and relaxation outside of the competition to workshops focused on STEM and the arts. The week will include a group mural-painting opportunity, Minecraft coding academy, coding virtual reality camp, creative writing workshop, D.C.-area tours and a book-based team challenge in partnership with the Scripps Howard Foundation.

The Bee on Scripps Networks
For the first time in Bee history, the competition will air exclusively on ION and Bounce, which are part of Scripps’ portfolio of free, over-the-air national networks.

“With its new television home, the Bee will reach into more than 120 million households and we hope it will inspire new generations of students watching along,” said Durnil.

  • The semifinals will air, live-to-tape, on ION and Bounce at 8-10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 1. (The semifinals are slated to begin at 4 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m.)
  • The finals will air live in primetime on ION and Bounce from 8-10 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2.

A full broadcast and streaming schedule of all competition elements will be released in the coming weeks.

Media credentials:
Media can submit a request for credentials to cover the national competition at the Gaylord here.

Media interested in following the action should contact media@spellingbee.com to receive regular updates as the competition progresses.

Media contact: Becca McCarter, 513-410-2425, Rebecca.mccarter@scripps.com

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:  

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program, having launched in 1925. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Defy TV, Grit, ION Mystery, Laff and TrueReal. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”