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Think You Can Spell? You Could Win $5,000

The 16th annual AARP National Spelling Bee will be held in Cheyenne, Wyo., June 17-18, at the Little America Hotel and Resort. Open to anyone age 50 or older, the AARP National Spelling Bee attracts spellers from all over the U.S. who compete for more than $5,000 in gifts and prizes. Register online through June 16 or call 1-877-926-8300.

See Also: Plan Your Trip to the 2011 Spelling Bee

In a recent survey, AARP members said that staying sharp mentally is extremely important to discovering the best of what’s next in their lives.

“The AARP National Spelling Bee is a great way for adults to put their skills to the test in a fun, competitive environment,” said Tim Summers, AARP Wyoming Director. “With adults from all over the country converging in Wyoming for the competition, the bee proves to be a hit with contestants year after year. We are pleased to host this contest for the 50+ crowd to really test themselves.”

The AARP National Spelling Bee consists of two rounds of competition, beginning with a 100-word written spelling test in the morning, narrowing the field to the top 15 spellers, who go on to compete in the oral spelling rounds. Spellers are allowed to miss two words in the oral rounds before being knocked out of the competition. The first place speller will receive $5,000, second place will receive $500 and third place will receive a $250 prize. The top three finishers will also receive free AARP memberships.

A "pre-Bee" workshop will be offered to all contestants and the general public June 17. The free workshop, "Gray Matters: Training the Grownup Brain," will feature interactive sessions that will explain the impact of diet, fitness and relationships on brain health and answer your questions.

Pre-event registration is $40 for spellers and remains open through June 16; walk-in registration costs $50.

Sponsors of the 2011 AARP National Spelling Bee include:

  • Merriam-Webster’s dictionary
  • Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power
  • Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
  • AARP Wyoming


The AARP National Spelling Bee was created in 1996 by a group of AARP members in Cheyenne, Wyo., who wanted a fun way to challenge their peers to keep their minds sharp as they age. The competition has been held every year since, and always in Cheyenne. A group of dedicated volunteers select the words, write the sentences, organize, and promote the event. Spellers travel from across America to showcase a lifetime of knowledge and to celebrate their years of experience.

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