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.
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:
Your first official look at our 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-Champions. Each speller will receive a Scripps Cup and $50,000 cash prize from Scripps. After 20 rounds of intensive, record-breaking competition, they're all going home as winners. #spellingbee pic.twitter.com/8nRzDAk5dc— Scripps National Spelling Bee (@ScrippsBee) May 31, 2019
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.
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.
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.
|1939||Elizabeth Ann Rice||Massachusetts|
|1941||Louis Edward Sissman||Michigan|
|1947||Mattie Lou Pollard||Georgia|
|1952||Doris Ann Hall||North Carolina|
|1963||Glen Van Slyke III||Tennessee|
|1965||Michael Kerpan Jr.||Oklahoma|
|1966||Robert A. Wake||Texas|
|1968||Robert L. Walters||Kansas|
|1970||Libby Childress||North Carolina|
|1974||Julie Ann Junkin||Alabama|
|1975||Hugh Tosteson Garcia||Puerto Rico|
|1976||Tim Kneale||New York|
|1990||Amy Marie Dimak||Washington|
|1994||Ned G. Andrews||Tennessee|
|1995||Justin Tyler Carroll||Tennessee|
|1997||Rebecca Sealfon||New York|
|2000||George Abraham Thampy||Missouri|
|2004||David Scott Pilarski Tidmarsh||Indiana|
|2006||Katharine Close||New Jersey|
|2007||Evan M. O'Dorney||California|
|2013||Arvind Mahankali||New York|
|2014||Sriram Hathwar||New York|
|2016||Jairam Hathwar||New York|
|2019||Shruthika Padhy||New Jersey|