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National Spelling Bee Takes Over Words With Friends for 8 Days, With Top Words From 8 Champions Who Tied in 2019

Words With Friends is collaborating with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, after the pandemic year that cancelled the Bee, to have fun around the highly anticipated 2021 finals on July 8.

In the eight days leading up to the contest, the Words With Friends ‘Word of the Day’ will be the winning word from each of the eight champions from the 2019 finals, which ended with an unprecedented eight-way tie.

This year, in addition to a new rule that launches a spell-off in case of a tie, Words With Friends will prepare us for the thrills and intensity of the Bee’s return by featuring an 8-day ‘Word of the Day’ takeover.

Underscoring the depth of language learned by these young spellers, four words had to be added to the Words With Friends dictionary for this initiative. As players click the ‘Word of the Day’ cell during this initiative, they can also access the word’s definition and a photo of the 2019 champion moment when each contestant turned into an historic champion.

The first word featured on July 1 was ‘auslaut’ (def: the final sound in any word), spelled correctly in 2019 by San Jose, California boy, Rishik Gandharsi.

Yesterday, the featured word was ‘erysipelas’ (def: an acute bacterial disease)—the winning word of Erin Howard, of Huntsville, Alabama—pictured below.

The word for July 4th, will be ‘aiguillette’ (def: a shoulder cord worn by military aides), which was the winning word for Shruthika Padhy, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Closing out the program, and landing on the day of the 2021 National Spelling Bee Finals, will the word ‘odylic’ (def: related to the hypothetical force oddly or Od), spelled by Rohan Rajas of Dallas, Texas to round out the 8-way tie.

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants spend years preparing for this linguistic contest of intellect and calm under pressure,” said Bernard Kim, of game company Zynga, which created Words With Friends.

“Our Words With Friends players are also lovers of words and friendly competition, and I could not think of a better beacon of inspiration than these Spellers to encourage us to continue to learn, strive and achieve.”

“Games and play are powerful tools for learning, and we’re excited to work with Zynga to bring additional joy and attention to this year’s event through their Words With Friends community,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee.

The event will be televised on ESPN on July 8, with the winner taking home the Scripps Cup trophy.