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Getting To Know This Year's Spellers

National Spelling Bee
National Spelling Bee
National Spelling Bee

As many of you know, I spend hours and hours each year trying to handicap the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which begins today.

My picks this year are coming up a little bit later, but first let's help you out by getting to know this year's spellers. Here's the best of the best taken verbatim out of the bios from the Spelling Bee media guide.

Speller No. 10,Cory Klingsporn: "Table tennis and fencing are his favorite pastimes. He aspires to become a baroque opera conductor."

Speller No. 13,George Liu: "George dreams of owning a multi-billion dollar corporation."

Speller No. 25, Drew Kantor: "He would also enjoy being a chef in his own restaurant, which would have allergen-free cuisine."

Speller No. 40,Veronica I. Penny: "For luck in spelling competitions, Veronica sleeps with a dictionary under her pillow and spells with a penny in her shoe."

Speller No. 42,Jonathan Schut: "Jonathan would like to become a lawyer and a Zamboni driver."

Speller No. 48,Christian Smith: "Christian has three bearded dragon lizards and two ball python snakes."

Speller No. 51,Kyra Gardner: "An avid sailor, Kyra will advance to an International 420 Class dinghy this summer."

Speller No. 143,J. Ryne Kisch: "He hopes someday to pursue a career in radiology or the NFL."

Speller No. 199,Madeline Stevens: "She claims a deep, burning passion for fuzzy socks."

Speller No. 213,Joshua A. McFall: "Josh has experienced a wide range of weather extremes while camping. His coldest overnight experience in a tent this past winter was a balmy 12 degrees Fahrenheit."

Speller No. 228,Amanda Lee Klovekorn: "For spelling bee luck, Amanda dons a bracelet made of duct tape in her school colors."

Speller No. 232,Julianna M. Canabal-Rodriguez: "She always eats pepperoni pizza before a spelling bee."

Speller No. 259, Jonathan Robert Hohstadt: "He is the puppet team leader at his church."

Speller No. 270, Andrew Traylor: "He is quite the advocate for coffee, ramen noodles and burritos."

Speller No. 272, Andrew J. Logsdon: "He has a variety of items in his Rubik's Cube collection and has solved the Rubik's Cube in many ways, including with his feet and with a robot built from online instructions."

Speller No. 285, Sam T. Matherly: "His mom says that the best thing about him is his red hair."

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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