Five Illinois spellers move on to National Spelling Bee semifinals

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After completing a computer-based exam and two rounds of preliminaries, 46 spellers made it to the semifinals.

The semifinalists of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee were announced Wednesday evening, May 28, 2014. Among the 46 spellers moving on to the semifinals, five were from Illinois, three from the Chicago area, one from Crystal Lake and another from Forsyth.

The competitors will start the semifinals at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday on ESPN2.

Balu Natarajan was the last Illinois competitor to win the National Spelling Bee, by spelling “milieu” correctly in 1985. John McKinney of Des Moines was the last Iowa competitor to win the National Bee when he correctly spelled “semaphore” in 1946. One other Illinois competitor and three other Iowa competitors have won the National Spelling Bee according to the National Spelling Bee website.