281 spellers will compete from the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe; as well as the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.
Zee Week 2013 marks the
first visit to the nation's capital for 97 spellers.
Speller 94 Tara Singh, of Louisville, Ky., is the
youngest speller in this year's competition at age 8.
The spellers range in age from 8 to 14 years old, but
89 percent are between the ages of 12 and 14 years old.
Two spellers, speller 91, Vanya Shivashankar, and speller 191, Ashwin Veeramani, have siblings who have
previously won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
116 spellers speak
more than one language.
This year's group of competitors is
52 percent girls and 48 percent boys.
Among this year's field,
math is most frequently cited as a
Four spellers said the person they would most like to meet is Dr. Jacques Bailly, the official pronouncer of the Bee. During Bee Week, they'll get their chance.
The spellers' favorite words include conquistador, flibbertigibbet, humuhumunukunukuapuaa, physiognomy, weissnichtwo and gobbledegook.