How to watch the National Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee co-champion Vanya Shivashankar, 13, center, of Olathe, Kan., hugs her father Merl Shivashankar while co-champion Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, right, of St. Louis, celebrates as his family reaches out to him in this 2015 file photo.

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Scripps National Spelling Bee co-champion Vanya Shivashankar, 13, center, of Olathe, Kan., hugs her father Merl Shivashankar while co-champion Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, right, of St. Louis, celebrates as his family reaches out to him in this 2015 file photo.

The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. is coming up, and people all over the country are expected to watch the contest.

But residents from metro Atlanta have an extra reason to watch: one of the contenders is an elementary student from Gwinnett.

Burnette Elementary's Abhiram Kapaganty beat out 19 other Georgia students in March during the 56th annual Georgia Spelling Bee to secure his spot.

If you plan to tune in, here’s what you should know:

Tell me more about the history behind this event.

In 1925, nine newspapers banded together to host a spelling bee to promote literacy. Nine contestants participated in the first contest.  In 1941, Scripps took over sponsorship of the National Spelling Bee. More than 11 million students every year now participate in spelling bees leading to the National Bee.

When is it?

The tournament begins Wednesday, May 31 and runs through Thursday, June 1.

How can I watch?

The ESPN app will carry all preliminary rounds live on May 31, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

Live coverage of the finals will begin June 1 at 10 a.m. on ESPN2, ESPNU (Play Along Version) and the ESPN app.

The competition will conclude on ESPN, ESPNU and WatchESPN at 8:30 p.m.

How else can I participate?

If you watch the contest with friends, use the hashtags #beewatchparty and #spellingbee when posting on social media.

Viewers can also tune into the multiple choice “Play Along” channel, which gives them a one-in-four chance to pick the correct spelling of the given word.

On June 1, the channel will include multiple-choice Twitter voting. Info boxes with the word’s etymology, definition, pronunciation, part of speech and the speller’s bio will also appear on screen.

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From the Spelling Bee video archives, circa 2014:

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Sumedh Garimella at the Scripps National Spelling Bee