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On May 30, 2019, ESPN televised the highly anticipated Scripps National Spelling Bee. The competition was so fierce this year that they were starting to run out of words for their contestants to spell as they entered the final 20th round. Jacques Bailly, the event’s pronouncer, stated: “we’re throwing the dictionary at you and thus far you are showing the dictionary who is boss.” This was a historic year for the event as it crowned eight co-champions for the first time in bee history! Usually, by the 16th round, the competition has less than four competing for the title so this was definitely one for the record books! In its 92nd annual event, there have been six two-way ties in its history, but never eight battling for the prestigious title and cash prize.

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Vittorio Mena
Vittorio Mena O.D., M.S. is the sports vision director at Optical Academy in Clifton, NJ. He graduated from Seton Hall University with both a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Microbiology. He received his professional degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in 2014. He is professionally licensed in both life/variable annuity insurance and investments. He holds his 2-14, Series 6, and Series 63 financial licenses. Dr. Mena is on the board of directors for his state association NJSOP. He also serves as an advanced clinical director for the Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes program for the state of NJ. In 2019, he was awarded as the NJ Young Optometrist of the year. In 2020 he received the Public Service Award from Salus University. He also serves on the AOA's Sports & Performance Vision Committee. He is a regular monthly contributor to Review of Optometric Business columns and enjoys lecturing on nutrition, contact lenses, myopia management, concussion management, sports vision performance and finance.

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