Thursday, April 06, 2006

Now THAT'S a spelling bee!

Two kids in Billings, Montana dueled in a marathon spelling bee for the privilege of moving on to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. It took 16 rounds to eliminate the rest of the field, leaving just two contestants, and then they took turns spelling words for another 25 rounds. The entire spelling bee lasted 4 1/2 hours. I remember a few long spelling bees from my junior high days, but nothing that took 25 rounds between two competitors. That's like a 4-overtime NHL playoff game. When it's over, it's not so much about who won as who survived.

For the record, the closest I got to the National Spelling Bee was finishing fifth in a Pennsylvania regional bee in 1988. I won a dictionary for advancing from the district bee to the regional one. I think my prize as a distant runner-up was a medal and a free pizza lunch.

And before anyone posts it in the comments, I haven't seen Spellbound yet. It's on my Netflix list.

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