46 advance to semis at National Spelling Bee

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Forty-six competitors have advanced to the semifinals of the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The spellers are all that's left from the 281 youngsters who began the week vying for the title of top speller in the English language.

All spellers appeared at least once on stage Wednesday, and their oral scores were combined with a computerized spelling and vocabulary test to produce the semifinalists.

The finals take place Thursday night. The winner gets more than $33,000 in cash and prizes.

The highlights Wednesday were the funny sentences uttered by pronouncer Jacques Bailly. The Bee uses a pair of comedy writers from Hollywood to add humor to the event, and some spellers looked disappointed if they received a word that didn't come with a laugh.

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