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The 18th Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, District of Columbia in 1942, by the E.W. Scripps Company. There was no National Spelling Bee after this competition until 1946 due to World War II.

The winner was 11-year-old Richard Earnhart of El Paso, Texas, correctly spelling the word sacrilegious. Second place went to 15 year old Margaret Montgomery of Iowa, followed by Hazel M. LaPrade of Massachusetts, who misspelled "paucity."<ref name="ref1">(27 May 1942). El Paso Schoolboy Wins Spelling Honors, Victoria Advocate</ref>


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