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Who Is Going To Win The Spelling Bee? I K-N-O-W

2011 Scripps Spelling Bee
Source: facebook
2011 Scripps Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is today and tomorrow and I will, once again, tell you who is going to win.

To refresh your memory, in 2006, I warned you aboutKatherine Close.

In 2007, I had Evan O'Dorney.

In 2008, Sameer Mishra was on my list. The following year, I picked Kavya Shivashankar and last year, I said three spellers could go all the way and sure enough my #2 Anamika Veeramani prevailed.

Now, before we start, I must say that this is the hardest year to handicap.

Why?

Well, there's no one who just screams out at me. There is no one who is making their fifth appearance, which is usually an automatic pick for me. And there's no one who has a particularly famous relative who participated in a previous Spelling Bee.

Why is this important?

Because the teachers are usually their parents and that has a lot to do with whether they can take the heat when they get onto that stage. Because it's a tougher year and I need to extend my streak, please allow me to give you my five favorites.

Laura Newcombe
Source: spellingbee.com
Laura Newcombe

One of these spellers will win — guaranteed.

1. Laura Newcombe, No. 24

The Spelling Bee has been going on since 1925 and only three times did the winner come from outside the continental United States (Puerto Rico in 1975 and Jamaica in 1998).

Well, we think Canadian Laura Newcombe of Toronto is going to add to that list.

She finished 17th in 2009 and 5th last year and I just see a lot of confidence in this eighth grader.

Julianna Canabal-Rodriguez
Source: spellingbee.com
Julianna Canabal-Rodriguez

2. Julianna Canabal-Rodriguez, No. 215

I'm dead set on an outsider winning this Bee.

So if Laura Newcombe doesn't do it, my bet is with Julianna, who is an eighth grader from Puerto Rico.

This is her fourth bee and she came in ninth last year.

3. Nicholas Rushlow, No. 188

Nicholas Rushlow
Source: spellingbee.com
Nicholas Rushlow

He might look like a baby faced child, but this kid from Pickering, Ohio has got spelling skills.

He's one of three four-time repeaters, finishing 17th in 2009 and 33rd last year.

He missed on his first word in the semifinals last year (devant) and I just think it was a fluke.

That's the hardest part about handicapping the Bee.

Check out this video and you'll see the kid does other activities like riding his bike and fishing while he spells his words.

Arvind Mahankali
Source: spellingbee.com
Arvind Mahankali

4. Arvind Mahankali, No. 157

A New Yorker hasn't won this contest since Rebecca Sealfon screamed euonym in the most memorable final word ever in 1997, but Arvind Mahankali is the Big Apple's best chance since.

This is a little bit of a reach because this is only Arvind's second bee, but I was thoroughly impressed with his ninth place finish last year.

Also good for Mahankali?

Sukanya Roy
Source: spellingbee.com
Sukanya Roy

Eight of the last 12 winners have been of Indian decent, including the last three.

5. Sukanya Roy, No. 214

Sukanya is a three-time participant and she's cool under pressure.

I was impressed with her poise over the last two years, when she came in 12th (in '09) and 20th (in '10).

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com