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The Scripps National Spelling Bee starts today. Here’s how to watch

Posted at 8:21 AM, May 31, 2022

Starting today, 234 spellers will compete in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee as the event returns to National Harbor, Maryland, after the 2020 Bee was canceled and the 2021 Bee was altered.

The competition begins at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday and wraps up Thursday evening. The champion wins $50,000 in cash, $2,500 in prizes from Merriam-Webster, $400 in reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica, a commemorative medal and the Scripps Cup.

Here’s how to watch this year’s Bee:

  • This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals (live to tape, Wednesday, June 1, at 8 p.m.) and finals (live, Thursday, June 2, at 8 p.m.) are being televised on ION and Bounce. They will also be simulcast on Laff and TrueReal. The finals will re-broadcast on June 3 and June 5 on Newsy.
  • To watch the preliminaries, starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, and the quarterfinals, starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, go to free-streaming platforms on the ION Plus and Bounce XL channels. These are available via free apps on Smart TVs (Samsung TV+ and Vizio Watchfree+) and other free apps (Roku Channel and Pluto TV) that can be accessed through Smart TVs and connected TV devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.
  • The semifinals (beginning at approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1) and finals (beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 2) also will be live-streamed on ION Plus and Bounce XL.

Here is a look at the Spelling Bee by numbers:

4 - Returning finalists from last year’s Bee
5 - Akash Vukoti is competing in his fifth Scripps Bee. He was age 6 when he first appeared at the Bee in 2016
7 - Age of the two youngest competitors in this year’s Bee
45 - Returning competitors from previous Bees
165 - Contestants from public schools
7,900 - Miles traveled by Ana Guadalupe Villagomez to reach the Bee from Guam