Can You Spell Money? Make Some with This Guide to Betting Spelling Bee

spelling bee

Kim MacCormack

Monday, May 14, 2018 11:56 AM UTC

Monday, May. 14, 2018 11:56 AM UTC

There’s lots of buzz about the more than 500 competitors in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. And, yep, you can bet on it at 5Dimes.

Time is approaching when you will hear the dulcet tones of students asking: “What is the language or origin, please?” “What’s the definition?” “Can you please use the word in a sentence?” and “Is that the only pronunciation?”

Yes adults, prepare to feel stupid again as you watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Sure, you could get through the first couple rounds – take that 7th-grader from Rapid City! But, you’ll be hanging your heads in shame at the first “hard” word and you know it.

For example, the word that won last year’s championship for 12-year-old Anaya Vinay of Fresno, Calif. -- which is right?: marocane, marricain, marocain, maracane or marrocain.

Its origin is French. It’s a dress fabric of ribbed crepe made of silk or wool or both. And we can’t use it in a sentence without giving away the answer, which will be at the end of his article. (No cheating.)

Wagering site 5Dimes is offering odds on this year’s bee – no spelling required.

  • Boy wins or multiple boys share championship -130
  • Girl wins or multiple girls share championship -110
  • Boy is lone champion +147
  • Girl is champion or shared champion -187
  • Girl is lone champion +167
  • Boy is champion or shared champion -222
  • Single person is champion -290
  • Two or more co-champions +210

In the history of the National Spelling Bee there have been five co-champions – including three of the last four years. Of the champions, 48 have been girls and 45 have been boys.

Pretty evenly matched, so eenie, meenie, miney, moe (uh, did we spell that right?)

More than 11 million students competed across the country to get to the finals in Washington, D.C., held May 29-31. And new to the bee this year is a wild-card program where students who didn’t qualify through local bees can pay $750 to participate. That option has doubled the field this year to 519 participants, up from 291 last year.

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But, the bottom line is that these kids study hard and are walking dictionaries, so the likelihood of co-champs is strong.

Beyond the big trophy, the winner gets (or shares) a $40,000 cash prize from Scripps, $2,500 from Meriam-Webster, $400 of reference works including a 1768 Encyclopaedia Britannica Replica Set and three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium.

By the way, the correct spelling of last year’s winning word is marocain.

If you’re cocky and think you could take ‘em all, you can test yourself on the official site where they offer a spelling exam. Just so you know, the winning words from previous years include: gesellschaft, scherenschnitte and stichomythia. Yeah, good luck, you’re going to need it.

Early rounds air at 9:15 a.m. May 29 and 8 a.m. May 30 on ESPN3. The spelling bee finals will air at 8:30 p.m. May 31 on ESPN.

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