OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - 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.
This year's Scripps National Spelling Bee includes the youngest speller ever — 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Va. Three of last year's finalists are back for another try, and two spellers made the bee for the fifth straight year.
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