Teenagers and pre-teens who win the intensely competitive Scripps National Spelling Bee have brains, passion, and dedication.
For the most part, this work ethic leads to success in college and beyond. Among the decades of past winners, there are lots of graduates of top schools and many brainy professionals — such as doctors and lawyers.
There are some pretty unusual career choices too, from a professional poker player to a voiceover actor.
Many former winners have also stayed involved with the bee itself, making up the administration of the organisation.
Max Nisen created an earlier version of this feature.
1992 winner Amanda Goad went to Harvard Law School and became a staff lawyer on the ACLU's LGBT and HIV rights project.
1981 winner Paige Pipkin Kimble, right, was runner-up in 1980 to Jacques Bailly, left. She couldn't shake the spelling bee; she serves as its executive director.
Bailly, the 1980 winner, is an associate professor of classics at the University of Vermont and the bee's official pronouncer.
Rebecca Sealfon, the 1997 winner, remembered for screaming each letter of her last word -- 'euonym' -- went on to found Research Match, a startup that helps professors and students collaborate. She's currently a software engineer at Qualia Media.
1973 winner Barrie Trinkle went to MIT, spent more than a decade at NASA's Jet Propulsion lab, worked as an editor at Amazon, and now is a freelance editor.
Jonathan Knisely won in 1971 with the word 'shaloon' and is now a doctor of internal medicine at North Shore LIJ hospital in New York.
1969 winner Susan Yoachum was a journalist and part of a San Jose Mercury News team that won a Pulitzer in 1989. She later became political editor of The San Francisco Chronicle.
1991 winner Amy Marie Dimak was a molecular biotechnology researcher before having three kids and then becoming a nurse.
George Thampy, the 2000 winner, graduated from Harvard in 2010 and worked in private equity before moving to pharmaceuticals.
2007 winner Evan O'Dorney is a fellow Harvard alum who graduated in 2015. In the fall, he'll head overseas to the University of Cambridge to study mathematics as a Churchill Scholar. He then plans to attend Princeton University and pursue a career in academia.
2006 champion Katharine Close won with the word 'ursprache.' She graduated from Cornell University in 2014 and is working towards a journalism masters degree in business and economic reporting at New York University.
2008 winner Sameer Mishra ran the spelling bee's social media last year, live-tweeting every word in the competition. This year, he's an investment banking summer analyst at Morgan Stanley. He will return to Columbia University in the fall for his senior year.
Frank Neuhauser won the very first spelling bee with the world 'Gladiolus' and was a patent lawyer at GE and Bernard Rothwell & Brown. He died in 2011 at age 97.
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