OXON HILL, Md. -- Forty-one youngsters have advanced to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The 41 had the highest scores after Wednesday's onstage rounds and a computer test that included a vocabulary section for the first time in bee history.
The semifinals are Thursday afternoon. The finals are set for Thursday night, with the winner taking home more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.
Among the contenders is 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali, who finished third each of the past two years. Arvind breezed through his two words - "euphemism" and "belemnoid."
Also among the semi-finalists is Ashwin Veeramani of North Royalton. His sister won the Bee in 2010.
The Associated Press