It happened in the critically-acclaimed major motion picture, Akeelah and the Bee. In real life, though, there have been only five instances of co-champions—1950, 1957, 1962, 2014 and 2015.
At the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 283 spellers took the Preliminaries Test. That test contained 12 Round One spelling words, 12 Round One vocabulary questions, a Round Two vocabulary question and a Round Three vocabulary question for a total potential score of 30 points. Additionally, spellers who spelled correctly onstage during Rounds Two and Three of the Bee had an opportunity to earn an additional three points for each correct spelling. Here’s the catch: If a speller misspelled in either Round Two or Round Three, the speller was eliminated from the competition. A total of 49 spellers qualified for the Semifinals by earning at least 29 points in the Preliminaries. Click below to try your hand at the actual 2015 Preliminaries Test and see if you could have qualified for the Semifinals.
In order to take part in the online Preliminaries experience, your computer must have:
- a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768;
- Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 6 or newer;
- Flash 9 or newer, and
- Adobe Reader (for printing your score report only).