ESPN AND ABC TO PRESENT 2006 NATIONAL SPELLING BEE FINALS THURSDAY, JUNE 1, WITH THE TITLE ROUNDS MOVING TO ABC AT 8:00 P.M., ET
For the 13th straight year, ESPN will present live coverage of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals from Washington, DC., THURSDAY, JUNE 1, from 12:00 � 3:00 p.m., ET. The championship rounds of the event will be on ABC, 8:00 � 10:00 p.m., marking the first time the nation�s most-popular and longest-running educational contest will be presented live, in primetime on a broadcast network. ABC�s primetime broadcast and ESPN�s daytime coverage will be available in high definition � another television first for the event.
�SportsCenter� anchor Chris McKendry will return for the fifth year as ESPN�s Spelling Bee host, with former Bee finalist Paul A. Loeffler providing analysis. Loeffler, who represented the Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star in the 1990 National Spelling Bee finals in Washington, DC � making it up to the top 13 spellers -- will also join �Good Morning America�s� Robin Roberts to call the championship rounds on ABC. ABC News correspondent Chris Connelly is also an on-air correspondent during the competition.
ABOUT THE SPELLING BEE
The National Spelling Bee is the nation�s largest and longest-running educational contest. The competition debuted in 1925, and is currently administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company, with over 260 sponsors in the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas and American Samoa. This year approximately 10.5 million grade school students participated in Bee competitions, beginning at the local level and culminating with 275 spellers in the finals.
Inside the 2006 Bee numbers . . .
1 � nine-year-old in the finals
2 � spellers in the finals for the fifth time
3 � spellers in the finals for the fourth time
13 � straight years ESPN will present live television coverage of the Bee finals
19 � fifth grade students in the finals
27 � finalists with National Spelling Bee pedigrees, having at least one relative who has competed in previous national finals
31 � spellers in the finals are only children
37 � finalists currently being home-schooled
96 � thirteen-year-olds in the finals
275 � spellers in the finals, the greatest number of finalists in the Bee history
National Spelling Bee winning words and the winners during ESPN�s Bee era
Following are the National Spelling Bee winners during ESPN�s era of coverage and their winning words. For more information about National Spelling Bee winning words, champion spellers and the 2005 finalists representing newspapers/cities, log on to: www.spellingbee.com.
Year The Winners in ESPN�s Era Winning Words
1994 Neg G. Andrews � The Knoxville News Sentinel, Tenn. Antediluvian
1995 Justin Taylor Carroll � The Commercial Appeal, Tenn. Xanthos
1996 Wendy Guey � The Palm Beach Post, Fla. Vivisepulture
1997 Rebecca Sealfon � Daily News, New York Euonym
1998 Judy-Anne Maxwell � Phillips & Phillips Stationery, Kingston, Jam. Chiaroscurist
1999 Nupur Lala � Tampa Tribune, Fla. Logorrhea
2000 George Abraham Tampy � St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mo. Demarche
2001 Sean Conley � Aitkin Independent Age, Aitkin, Minn. Succedaneum
2002 Paytyush Buddiga � Rocky Mountain News, Colo. Prospicience
2003 Sai R. Gunturi � Dallas Morning News, Texas Pococurante
2004 David Scott Pilarski Tidmarsh � South Bend Tribune, Ind. Autochthonous
2005 Anurag Kashyap � San Diego Union Tribune, Calif. appoggiatura
2006 -- PRIMETIME ON ABC -- ???