NOT TO BE USED FOR GAMBLING PURPOSES: The Scripps National Spelling Bee folks have released the data on this year's 281 entrants. Only two five-timers: Georgia's Rachel Cundey, who fell just shy of primetime last year, and Emily Keaton, whom Shonda once described as "gorgeous long flowing red hair and looks very self-possessed. I think she might run the country someday."
The four-timers might be better-known in these parts, including Sriram Hathwar, once the youngest speller in Bee history (and who has done a TEDx talk about it); Grace Remmer ("long hair and glasses, a weary confidence and she asks about Greek roots just because she can"); and NYC's Arvind Mahankali, who placed third place in each of the past two years. Also with some reputation? Two siblings of past national champions -- third-timer Vanya Shivashankar (the only perfect score in last year's written round), and Ashwin Veeramani. And because we always pay attention to such things, your Jamaican entrant this year is Christian J.D. Allen, whose story you can read here. Four weeks to go.