A recent Hang Up And Listen episode discussed the Little League World Series and its impact on the kids that play in it. During the podcast, contributor Stefan Fatsis noted that there is no prize money for the World Series, unlike the spelling or geography bees, where the winners do take home monetary prizes.
In fact, according to Wikipedia, “the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a $30,000 cash prize and an engraved loving cup trophy from Scripps, a $2,500 savings bond, a reference library from Merriam-Webster, $2,600 in reference works and a lifetime membership to Britannica Online Premium from Encyclopædia Britannica, $5,000 cash prize from the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, and an online course and a Nook eReader from K12 Inc.”
$30,000 is nothing to sneeze at.
Where else in society is a higher monetary value places on the winners of academic endeavors over sporting endeavors? I can’t think of any.