Scripps Spelling Bee 2018: 5 Iconic Winners & Their Winning Spelling Bee Words

Lifestyle The List
By: Meredith Witthar Posted: 6:48 PM, May 30, 2018

It's that time of year again! The 91st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is in full swing. And this year, more than 11 million students will join one of the nation's oldest competitions. So we're looking back to the past winners to see where they are now. 

1. Dr. Jacques Bailly 

Our first spelling champ might also be the most recognizable. His name is Dr. Jacques Bailly, who won the bee in 1980. He now serves as the bee's pronouncer, and says he prefers this role over that of a contestant. "I get to learn all the words, study them and work with them," he shares. "I even get the front row seat!" His winning spelling bee word was "elucubrate." 

2. Daniel Greenblatt 

Next up is the winner of the 1984 bee. Daniel Greenblatt was just 13 when he won, and even earned an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson to have a spell-off. Nowadays, you won't catch him on-screen, but you may hear his voice. He's done voiceover work for video games, like "Big Game Hunter 2012." His winning spelling bee word was "luge."

3. Joanne Lagatta 

Joanne Lagatta dominated the Spelling Bee in 1991 and took home first place. Her winning word was "antipyretics," which means "fever reducing medicine." A little ironic since she's now a doctor at The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. And, yes, she can still spell her winning spelling be word!

4. Jody-Anne Maxwell 

Finally, we have Jody-Anne Maxwell. She became the first non-American winner, and the very first winner from Jamaica. After her return, she was chosen to host The KFC Quiz Show in her hometown, and just recently graduated from law school. Her winning spelling bee word was "chiaroscurist."

So, there you have it. For the past nine decades, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been challenging the minds of students and helping them improve their spelling. This year, the national contest is expecting a record number of attendees. Bee Week runs from May 27th to June 1st, and you can learn all details at  

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