Can you spell leishmanic? How about aguinaldo? Ha! Well, good luck qualifying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, not to mention winning it!
The biggest in the country, Scripps National Spelling Bee annually brings together the top spellers from across the U.S. as well as from a few other places including Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Ghana, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand. By winning regional competitions (often sponsored by local newspapers), spellers qualify for the national bee, which is held the week after Memorial Day in Washington, D.C. The cerebral wordsmiths are usually between the ages of 12 and 14, but contestants mustn't be older than 15 while others are as young as 8.
2010's winner 14-year-old Anamika Veeramani managed to take the first place trophy (as well as $40,000 in cash and prizes) by correctly spelling stromuhr, which, according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, means "a rheometer designed to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery." But you already knew that, right?