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National Spelling Bee contestants test their knowledge

Ann Marie Brown, 14, of Hosford, Fla., competes in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Ann Marie Brown, 14, of Hosford, Fla., competes in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during round two of the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during round two of the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.Evan Vucci / AP

Alex Howe, 9, of Victorville, Calif,, right, yawns next to Sam T.E. Nitz, 13, of Costa Mesa, Calif., as they compete in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Alex Howe, 9, of Victorville, Calif,, right, yawns next to Sam T.E. Nitz, 13, of Costa Mesa, Calif., as they compete in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Ann Marie Brown, 14, of Hosford, Fla., competes in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Ann Marie Brown, 14, of Hosford, Fla., competes in the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, in Oxon Hill, Md.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

 From AP:  OXON HILL, Md. -- The 85th National Spelling Bee is under way. Thirteen-year-old Kevin Lazenby of Opelika, Ala., stepped to the microphone Wednesday morning at a convention center outside Washington and correctly spelled "witticism."

The 278 participants won local and regional spelling bees to make the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Each gets the opportunity to spell two words during Wednesday's preliminary rounds. Their scores will be combined with scores from a 50-word computer test to determine the field of no more than 50 semifinalists.  Read the latest on the contest here.

 

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