EDUCATION
06/02/2011 08:03 pm ET | Updated Aug 02, 2011

Scripps National Spelling Bee: Who Will Spell 'Winner'?

Get out those dictionaries and keep up with the finalists of the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee, who will compete Thursday night.

Out of 275 young spelling aficionados, just 13 advanced to the championship finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

According to the Scripps Spelling Bee's website, this year brought contenders ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old from all over the world.

This year's winner will be awarded a $30,000 cash prize, a trophy, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond, a complete reference library, a $5,000 scholarship, and $2,600 in reference works and other prizes, reports Reuters.

Among the ranks are two 2010 championship finalists, Laura Newcombe and Joanna Ye. Ye told The Christian Science Monitor she's enjoying this year's competition, and feels no remorse for last year's tie for fifth place:

"I'm glad I didn't win last year, because I would not have been able to handle all the media attention. Whatever happens, I'll still be proud and not have any regrets."

NPR caught up with Ben Zimmer, the executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com and Vocabulary.com, who provided a little insight into the world of a spelling bee contestant:

"These kids are spending sometimes a few hours a day going through word lists. Very often, they are coming from immigrant families that really prize learning English as part of becoming assimilated into American culture. So, my hat's off to all of these young spellers."

Anamika Veeraman won last year's Spelling Bee with the German word "stromuhr", an instrument designed to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery.

Tune in to find out what this year's winning word will be; the Championship Finals air live on ESPN from 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 2.