Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee

A record 291 students, ages 6 to 15, are participating in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, including eight Missouri kids. The 90th annual competition gets underway tomorrow and continues through Thursday.

Missouri students who will be vying for the top spot are Joel Miles of Greenwood and the Raymore-Peculiar School District, Joseph Benson of Kansas City, Jacob Muin of Sedalia, Emily King of Steele in southeast Missouri, Alice Liu of Chesterfield, Kael Miranda of Columbia, Elizabeth Tittrington of Kansas City and Congress Middle School and Deuce Ditton of Rolla.

Kids from all 50 states are competing for the title.

The winner – or winners – will be awarded $40,000 in cash, a trophy and other prizes. For the past three years in a row, there has been more than one champion.