Where to Watch the National Spelling Bee Live (and See Whether It'll End in Tie Again)

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Edith Fuller, 6, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, competes in the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Do you want to watch a few hours of TV that has nothing to do with Donald Trump and instead has everything to do with a bunch of cute, smart kids amicably competing to be named the best speller in the country?

Of course you do.

Related: Quiz: How many Scripps National Spelling Bee winning words can you spell?

Thursday night is the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee, an annual contest held near Washington, D.C. Dozens of students from across the nation will come together to show off their skills and face off against their opponents in the competition's final round, which always makes for good TV. The second half of the finals will kick off at 8:30 p.m. EDT, after an hourlong preshow.

Lucky for word lovers, ESPN is broadcasting the spelling bee as it happens for the 24th time in the event's history. You can tune in live on ESPN and WatchESPN, and you can play along with the contestants on ESPNU. Check out a livestream here.

The past few years' spelling bees have had ridiculously exciting endings. In 2014, Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe tied for the championship—the first such occurrence in five decades—after going five rounds without making a mistake, as USA Today reported. They didn't bat an eye at words like "stichomythia" and "feuilleton."

Then, in 2015, it happened again. Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam tied for first place. So the spelling bee's organizers changed the rules for the 2016 contest, making the runoff between the final spellers longer and more difficult, in an effort to discourage ties.

Did it work? N-O-P-E.

Last year, there was a third consecutive tie, after whatthe Daily Beast called a "bloodbath" of contestants who misspelled their words. Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga were the last two, and they were neck-and-neck until Jairam erred on "drahthaar." Nihar had to spell the next two words correctly to take the title, but he tripped on "ayacahuite," so the bee continued. At the end of 25 championship rounds, both emerged victorious.

Will there be another tie this year? The judges have changed the rules again, this time instituting a written spelling and vocabulary test that may be used to separate equally matched competitors, but the only way to find out is to tune in.