D-U-K-E Attracts Top Spellers

As The Scripps National Spelling Bee is aired again on primetime tonight, it’s worth mentioning that two former champions, Pratyush Buddiga and Rebecca Sealfon, are now students at Duke, far removed from their days on the bee circuit.

Buddiga, the 2002 champion, is best known for his brother, Akshay, who fainted in the 2004 Bee before taking third place.

Sealfon, on the other hand, has a claim to fame to herself. While a clip of Akshay’s fainting spell has been viewed more than 320,000 times on YouTube, a short video of Sealfon screaming out the winning words in 1997 is even more memorable. If the word “euonym” means more to you than “an appropriate name for a person, place or thing,” you know what I’m talking about.

No live blog of the event, but be sure to check back in a few years to see if tonight’s winner matriculates to D-U-K-E.

–by Ben Cohen

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