Finals of National Spelling Bee begin with 40 elite spellers

Kids from 6 to 15 savor moments at National Spelling Bee

Finals of National Spelling Bee begin with 40 elite spellers

Six Minnesota youngsters are competing Wednesday morning on live television in the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee in suburban Washington, D.C.

Mulay, an eighth-grader at Novi Middle School, is in Washington, D.C. competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Addo, 13, correctly spelled "imprecatory" and "taciturnity" in Wednesday's oral rounds, which were televised by ESPN3.

Those 188 remaining competitors were narrowed down to just 40 based on the results of a written test given Tuesday.

Two words spelled correctly, and now Varad Mulay and his family know that his ticket to the finals has been punched.

Gravitational waves detected again, at furthest distance yet
In terms of mass, that places this event in the middle of the two mergers that were identified during LIGO's previous run. In a typical pair of orbiting black holes, each object spins on its own axis, just like the planets in the Solar System.

Iyer, who won the San Antonio Express-News' Regional Spelling Bee in February, nailed the words "salicylism" - a condition caused by excessive salicylic acid - and "tulsi" - a type of basil - in the fourth and fifth rounds Thursday morning.

This year's competition has already made headlines in March because of the 5-year-old super speller Edith Fuller, who became the youngest contender ever at the nationals.

Iyer, 14, and 14 other finalists will be on stage in the ESPN national telecast, starting at 7:30 p.m.

North Carolina is one of seven states that had trouble spelling words with five or less letters.

The first place victor will get $40,000 cash prize and $2,500 U.S. savings bond; and the second and third winners will get $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.

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