Words like “paucispiral”, “ankyloglossia”, “haecceitas” and “koinonia” won Karthik Nemmani, an Indian-origin boy from McKinney, Texas, the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
Nemmani won $40,000 (approximately Rs 26.83 lakh) in cash, a trophy, encyclopedias and savings bond worth $2,500 (approximately Rs 1.67 lakh). When asked at what point he knew he could spell the winning word “koinonia”, the Class 8 student told CNN, “When I heard it.” Koinonia is a Greek word that means a spiritual communion.
“I’m just really happy,” Nemmani said after his victory. “This has just been a dream come true.” Nemmani has never won a regional or state spelling bee, reported The Washington Post. He qualified for the nationals under the bee’s new invitational program, “RSVBee”, that allowed those who didn’t win a regional bee to apply for the nationals.
Naysa Modi from Frisco finished second as she misspelt “Bewusstseinslage”. She missed the second S.
This year’s contest had the maximum number of competitors – 516. The contestants were aged between eight and 15. The final, which had 16 spellers, went on for 18 rounds.