For the first time in the competition’s 94-year history, more than two contestants were crowed as the champions.
Eight adolescents broke the United States’ Scripps National Spelling Bee by becoming co-champions – the first time in the contest’s 94-year history that more than two co-champions were named.
Among these children, who took home $50,000 in cash and a trophy each, six are Indian-American. The eight contestants together spelt the final 47 words correctly over five consecutive rounds and left the organisers with no more of “challenging” words to ask them to spell.
Jacques Bailly, the official pronouncer, called it uncharted territory and, before declaring all of them as winners, said, “We do have plenty of words remaining on our list, but we’ll soon run out of words that can possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal assemblage of super spellers in the history of this competition.”
Thirteen-year old Rishik Gandhasri of California was the first to be declared winner after correctly spelling the word “auslaut” and 13-year-old Rohan Raja finished the competition by spelling his word “odylic”.
- Rishik Gandhasri, 13
- Erin Howard, 14
- Saketh Sundar, 13
- Shruthika Padhy, 13
- Sohum Sukhatankar, 13
- Abhijay Kodali, 12
- Christopher Serrao, 12
- Rohan Raja, 13