Microsoft Surprises National Spelling Bee Competition Finalists With Free Surface Devices


At Scripps National Spelling Bee competition yesterday, Microsoft made finalist kids scream in joy. Senior Director of U.S. Education for Microsoft Lydia Smyers took stage to talk about Microsoft’s collaboration with National Spelling Bee competition. She also showed a video of Microsoft Surface which students can use for collaborating and having fun with their friends. Later, Microsoft revealed to the students that they all will be getting a Surface RT from Microsoft.

Communications and Public Relations Manager Chris Kemper told the kids they were in for a surprise. “This has never been done in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee!” Kemper exclaimed as he invited spellers to come forward and take a gift bag.

“Do not look in the bag, do not shake the bag, do not open the bag, and for Pete’s sake do not taste the bag,” Kemper instructed. All 281 spellers gathered onstage with their bags to steady applause.

In what can only be described as in an Oprah-style fashion, after an audience countdown from five, each speller ripped through layers of tissue and wrapping paper to reveal a Microsoft Surface RT tablet. The excitement in the room was palpable as Pharrell’s “Happy” boomed from the speakers.

Watch the above video to see kids reactions.

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  • Rico Alexander

    The original RT Microsoft? Come on, you can do better than that.

    • Zicoz

      Yeah, looks more like a warehouse dump then a “good deed” to me

  • Vincent Haakmat

    Nice.. but it would be cooler if they have gotten the Surface 2 instead…

  • Bugbog

    Some were excited, others not so much. Kids eh?!

    The older you get, someone wants to give you a penny? You’ll be grateful and say thanks very much! :)

    • tomakali

      others looked iCraped

  • keith

    Surface Pro 3 would have been cooler for these gifted young kids.

    • Allan Cantillo

      Except that it does NOT include Office

  • Joe_HTH

    Jeez Microsoft. At least give them the Surface 2, which is a legitimately great device. The Surface RT was plagued by performance issues due to the Tegra 3.

    I would think you want these young people to have a great first impression, and while the Surface RT had great build quality, again, it’s performance is less than stellar.