WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The successful lives of past National Spelling Bee champions

Rebecca SealfonReuters/Rich WilkinRebecca Sealfon won in 1997 with the word ‘euonym.’

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.

Sources: Time, LinkedIn

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.

Source: Slate

Bailly, the 1980 winner, is an associate professor of classics at the University of Vermont and the bee's official pronouncer.

Source: Time

Pratyush Buddiga, the 2002 winner, is a fixture on the professional poker circuit.

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.

Source: LinkedIn

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.

Source: USA Today

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.

Source: SFGate

1991 winner Amy Marie Dimak was a molecular biotechnology researcher before having three kids and then becoming a nurse.

Source: Time, ABC News

1989 winner Scott Isaacs practices naturopathic and chiropractic medicine in Denver.

Source: Time

George Thampy, the 2000 winner, graduated from Harvard in 2010 and worked in private equity before moving to pharmaceuticals.

Source: LinkedIn

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.

Source: Harvard

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.

Source: LinkedIn

1998 winner Nupur Lala was a star of the 2002 documentary 'Spellbound,' went on to medical school.

Source: Reuters

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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