14-year-old from South Bend, Ind., wins Scripps National Spelling Bee
Thu, June 03, 2004 by Mark Kroeger
WASHINGTON – David Scott Tidmarsh, a 14-year-old speller from South Bend, Ind., won the 77th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee today. David was named the National Spelling Bee Champion in the 15th round after correctly spelling the word “autochthonous,” which is defined as “indigenous, native aboriginal – used especially of floras and faunas.” David is the son of Janice Pilarski and Jay Tidmarsh of South Bend, Ind., represented the South Bend Tribune in this year’s competition. This was the second National Spelling Bee in which David competed. David tied for 16th place in the 2003 national finals.The spelling competition began Tuesday with 265 competitors who qualified to compete in the national spelling bee by winning locally sponsored bees in their home communities. Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company, declared David the national champion and awarded him the engraved National Spelling Bee Championship loving cup immediately after the winning word was correctly spelled. “Each year we host the Scripps National Spelling Bee to celebrate academic excellence and to encourage advanced literacy,” Lowe said. “Our congratulations to David, who survived 15 rounds of spelling to emerge as the 2004 national champion. We also extend our congratulations to all of the top spellers who participated in this year's competition.”The Scripps National Spelling Bee is administered year-round on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps, and 251 local sponsors. The majority of local spelling bee sponsors are daily and weekly newspapers. The competition was held in the Independence Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Round-by-round results can be reviewed at the National Spelling Bee Web site, spellingbee.com.As the national champion, David receives a $12,000 cash award and an engraved loving cup from the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He also receives a $5,000 cash award from Franklin Electronic Publishing. From Encyclopedia Britannica, David receives one set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, one set of the Great Books of the Western World, and the 2004 Britannica CD. He also receives a $1,000 U.S. savings bond and a reference library from Merriam-Webster. All of the students who competed in the national spelling bee received cash prizes ranging from $50 to the $12,000 championship prize. All spellers receive a commemorative watch, the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award, which consists of a $100 EE U.S. Savings bond, and a $20 gift certificate from Franklin Electronic Publishers.Finishing second in this year’s competition was Akshay Buddiga of Colorado Springs, Colo. Akshay is the son of Rekha and Jayashima Buddig and represented the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. Akshay is the brother of Pratyush Buddiga, the 2002 national champion. Akshay receives a cash prize of $6,000. The third-place finisher was Nicholas James Truelson of Madison, S. D., representing the Madison Daily Leaders. Nicholas, the son of Sandy Durand and Nels Truelson, receives a $3,500 cash prize.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with headquarters in Cincinnati. Scripps has interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media and television retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 15 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming networks and a television retailing network. All of the company’s media businesses provide content and advertising services via the Internet.Scripps Networks brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. HGTV reaches about 85 million U.S. television households and Food Network can be seen in about 84 million households. Scripps Networks Web sites include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYnetwork.com and fineliving.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 86 countries. The company’s television retailing subsidiary, Shop At Home Network, markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com. Shop At Home reaches about 48 million fulltime equivalent U.S. households, including 5 million households via five Scripps owned, Shop At Home affiliated broadcast television stations. Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service and United Media, which is the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT.