What is the Spelling Bee trophy? Intricately designed 'Scripps Cup' recognizes nation's best speller

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The Scripps Cup — the trophy given to the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee — is unlike any other trophy in the sporting world.

It's adorned in the finest porcelain one could find and is a physical embodiment of the curiosity and intrigue that comes with being an adolescent in this crazy world.

And it's just so pretty. Backdropped in cream-colored sweetness and accentuated by the beauty of the natural world, the Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy is one of one. It's just what the competition, which pits some of the nation's brightest young pupils against each other in a battle of spelling wits, deserves.

But the trophy wasn't always this way. In fact, it is a relatively new addition to the competition, having replaced the previous trophy in 2019.

MORE: Meet the remaining spellers for Scripps National Spelling Bee finals

With that, here's what you need to know about the piece of hardware handed out to the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

What is the Scripps Cup?

The winner of this year's spelling bee will hoist a pearly white pot, one that wouldn't look out of place in a botanist's dwelling. It's ornate as can be; spotlighted by a regal shade of cream. Liveliness ripples across its surface, first in the budding red, orange, blue and lavender gladiolus.

Below is a look at the trophy from its debut during the 2019 competition:

There's a whole lot to like about the piece. From its alluring honeycomb shape to the delicate dichotomy of ribboning grass and nomadic bumblebees, the Scripps Cup just has that it factor that separates it from some of sports' other iconic finery.

MORE: Spelling bee winners round by round, updated words list

That hasn't always been the case. For the better part of 100 years, Scripps National Spelling Bee winners were gifted a dull, copper-plated trophy. It was lacking the sort of vigor and excitement these children deserved.

"Anyone could order that trophy," Corrie Loffler, the Scripps National Spelling Bee's editorial director, said of the former trophy.

So when it was finally put out to pasture in 2019, the competition's officials knew they had to come correct with their next choice.

Who makes the Scripps Cup?

The intricate details that litter the Scripps Cup surface require care and tenderness, something that can evade the industrialized nature of metalwork. So, Scripps contacted pottery company Rockwood to create a structure that comes to life.

"It recognizes what all these kids do," Loffler said, per Scripps' website.

MORE: How to watch Scripps National Spelling Bee

Rockwood went to painstaking measures to craft a vase befitting a spelling bee champion. In addition to all the flora that lines the trophy's exterior, it also features an open book and the first winning word of the national Bee. It sits on a honey walnut base, one that pays homage to Scripps' headquarters in Cincinnati (which resides on Walnut Street).

"It was a no-brainer to go to them," Loeffler said.

It's a trophy made for a champion. It's a trophy shaped by history. And it's one that will be front and center at the end of the competition.

List of past Spelling Bee winners

This is a complete list of the kids who have taken home the trophy from the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the 93 years it's been running. The full list of words each competitor correctly spelled to become a champion can be found on The Sporting News' website.

MORE: Spelling Bee age eligibility, explained

Year Winner State/Territory
1925 Frank Neuhauser Kentucky
1926 Pauline Bell Kentucky
1927 Dean Lucas Ohio
1928 Betty Robinson Indiana
1929 Virginia Hogan Nebraska
1930 Helen Jensen Iowa
1931 Ward Randall Illinois
1932 Dorothy Greenwalk Iowa
1933 Alma Roach Ohio
1934 Sarah Wilson Maine
1935 Clara Mohler Ohio
1936 Jean Trowbridge Iowa
1937 Waneeta Beckley Kentucky
1938 Marian Richardson Kentucky
1939 Elizabeth Ann Rice Massachusetts
1940 Laurel Kuykendall Tennessee
1941 Louis Edward Sissman Michigan
1942 Richard Earnhart Texas
1946 John McKinney Iowa
1947 Mattie Lou Pollard Georgia
1948 Jean Chappelear Ohio
1949 Kim Calvin Ohio
1950 Colquitt Dean Georgia
1950 Diana Reynard Ohio
1951 Irving Belz Tennessee
1952 Doris Ann Hall North Carolina
1953 Elizabeth Hess Arizona
1954 William Cashore Pennsylvania
1955 Sandra Sloss Missouri
1956 Melody Sachko Pennsylvania
1957 Sandra Owen Ohio
1957 Dana Bennett Colorado
1958 Jolitta Schlehuber Kansas
1959 Joel Montgomery Colorado
1960 Henry Feldman Tennessee
1961 John Capeheart Oklahoma
1962 Nettie Crawford Texas
1962 Michael Day Missouri
1963 Glen Van Slyke III Tennessee
1964 William Kerek Ohio
1965 Michael Kerpan Jr. Oklahoma
1966 Robert A. Wake Texas
1967 Jennifer Reinke Nebraska
1968 Robert L. Walters Kansas
1969 Susan Yoachum Texas
1970 Libby Childress North Carolina
1971 Jonathan Knisely Pennsylvania
1972 Robin Kral Texas
1973 Barrie Trinkle Texas
1974 Julie Ann Junkin Alabama
1975 Hugh Tosteson Garcia Puerto Rico
1976 Tim Kneale New York
1977 John Paola Pennsylvania
1978 Peg McCarthy Kansas
1979 Katie Kerwin Colorado
1980 Jacques Bailly Colorado
1981 Paige Pipkin Texas
1982 Molly Dieveney Colorado
1983 Blake Giddens Texas
1984 Daniel Greenblatt Virginia
1985 Balu Natarajan Illinois
1986 Jon Pennington Pennsylvania
1987 Stephanie Petit Pennsylvania
1988 Rageshree Ramachandran California
1989 Scott Isaacs Colorado
1990 Amy Marie Dimak Washington
1991 Joanna Lagatta Wisconsin
1992 Amanda Goad Virginia
1993 Geoff Hooper Tennessee
1994 Ned G. Andrews Tennessee
1995 Justin Tyler Carroll Tennessee
1996 Wendy Guey Florida
1997 Rebecca Sealfon New York
1998 Jody-Anne Maxwell Jamaica
1999 Nupur Lala Florida
2000 George Abraham Thampy Missouri
2001 Sean Conley Minnesota
2002 Pratyush Buddiga Colorado
2003 Sai Gunturi Texas
2004 David Scott Pilarski Tidmarsh Indiana
2005 Anurag Kashyap California
2006 Katharine Close New Jersey
2007 Evan M. O'Dorney California
2008 Sameer Mishra Indiana
2009 Kavya Shivashankar Kansas
2010 Anamika Veeramani Ohio
2011 Sukanya Roy Pennsylvania
2012 Snigdha Nandipati California
2013 Arvind Mahankali New York
2014 Sriram Hathwar New York
2014 Ansun Sujoe Texas
2015 Gokul Venkatachalam Missouri
2015 Vanya Shivashankar Kansas
2016 Jairam Hathwar New York
2016 Nihar Janga Texas
2017 Ananya Vinay California
2018 Karthik Nemmani Texas
2019 Rishik Gandhasri California
2019 Saketh Sundar Maryland
2019 Shruthika Padhy New Jersey
2019 Sohum Sukhatankar Texas
2019 Erin Howard Alabama
2019 Abhijay Kodali Texas
2019 Christopher Serrao Pennsylvania
2019 Rohan Raja Texas
2021 Zaila Avant-garde Louisiana
2022 Harini Logan Texas
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David Suggs is a content producer at The Sporting News.