In the early 1980s, these are the words you would have needed to spell in order to win the national spelling bee:
(I thought there were two "l"s in milieu, but I would have gotten the rest right.)
Here are the words that won the last five years:
Sometimes, I think, the value of winning is dwarfed by the chances of doing so. As a market gets more competitive, winning by the traditional rules gets more and more difficult. Some choose to try even harder. Some just make up new rules or invent new markets.