NewsEducationScripps Spelling Bee

4 returning finalists headline field for this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee

245 spellers ages 8-15 qualified for the 2024 Bee.
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Posted at 10:58 AM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 11:17:56-04

The Scripps National Spelling Bee announced that 245 spellers ages 8-15 will participate in this year's annual event, which will be held May 28-30 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Of the 245 spellers, only 57 participated in last year's Bee, and 65 have partaken in past Scripps Bees.

Several top spellers from last year's Bee will return in hopes of claiming the Scripps Cup. They include Shradha Rachamreddy, who finished third, Aryan Khedkar, who finished fifth, Tarini Nandakumar, who finished ninth, and Sarah Fernandes, who finished 10th.

The Bee also includes 2022 finalists Aliyah Alpert and Kirsten Santos. Logan Edwards, Nandakumar and Shradha Rachamreddy are participating in their fourth Scripps Bee.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented this year. Additionally, the Bee welcomes participants from the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"Each year, I'm moved by the stories I read about our spellers in the leadup to the national rounds of the competition," Scripps National Spelling Bee Executive Director Corrie Loeffler said. "They are athletes and artists, engineers and entrepreneurs, philanthropists and authors — they are multi-faceted young people. The thing they have in common is a shared love of language and the empowerment that comes from having the words to make connections and express their ideas. That is our mission at the Bee, and I can't wait to see this year's group of spellers bring it to life as they impress audiences across the world with their incredible prowess and authenticity."

The Bee's finals will air live on Ion May 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Ion, Scripps News, Bounce, Grit, Ion Mystery, Laff and Defy TV will carry the Bee's semifinals 8 p.m. ET May 29. Preliminary and quarterfinal rounds will be on Ion Plus.

Details on how to watch the Bee are available on its website. 

The Bee is open to children who have not started high school. Sanil Thorat, at age 8, is the youngest of the 245 spellers. He is among three third-graders in the field. By contrast, there are 108 eighth-graders participating.

The Bee's winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize, a $2,500 cash prize and reference library from Merriam-Webster, and $400 worth of reference works from Encyclopædia Britannica.

Scripps News is a subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Co., which runs the Scripps National Spelling Bee on a not-for-profit basis.

A previous version of this story incorrectly said that 3 finalists were returning for this year's Bee.