There are a few spellers who had to beat tough competition to make it to the national bee -- their siblings.
Jessie Ditton (Speller 261), a Virginia sixth grader, had to beat her brother in the district bee and her twin sister in the regional bee to advance this far. In Round 2, she spelled "Bolshevik" correctly to advance to Round 3.
Maggy Lambo (Speller 158), a New York sixth grader, beat her older sister Molly to get to D.C.
"We battled back and forth," said Molly, an eighth grader.
She followed the words on stage from her seat in the audience.