Indian-origin teen wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Lucy Bush
June 2, 2018

Third place gets $20,000, fourth gets $10,000, fifth gets $5,000, and sixth will receive $2,500.

Let's set the stage: Karthik had never been to the Spelling Bee before, making him a true outsider and elusive threat. (Bee rules state that no more than 50 contestants can advance to the finals.) The new wild-card programme paid off for a number of spellers: Of the 41 finalists, 16 had qualified through RSVBee, and four of those contestants moved on to the prime-time finals.

He then knocked out "haecceitas" (the status of being an individual) before receiving the word that would clinch his win: "koinonia", meaning the Christian fellowship or body of believers.

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This isn't the first time Karthik and Naysa have contested for a title - in fact, both of them live near Dallas, Texas, and Naysa won over Karthik in their county's spelling bee.

The bee ended in a tie for three consecutive years from 2014-2016, but that nearly certainly won't happen this year because the 16 finalists all took a written tiebreaker test.

In addition to the trophy, Nemmani will receive $25,000 in cash, trips to NY and Hollywood as part of a spelling bee media tour, a pizza party for his classmates at Scoggins Middle School and a complete Merriam-Webster reference library.

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Anisha Rao, 12, from Dublin, Calif., left, and Nidhi Vadlamudi, 12, from Santa Clara, Calif., yawn and stretch during a break at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018. She'll be 13 and in eighth grade, which is the final school year that spellers are eligible. It would take five rounds of onstage spelling to get to 16, the largest group ever to head into the championship finals.

She said she struggled with the "ae" because that's not normally seen in German.

"I wouldn't say it was revenge", he said.

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Bautista spelled her words correctly in rounds two and three, "clogwyn" and "wrangler", but her score in the preliminaries was not high enough to make the finals. "She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Karthik said of Naysa. At one point in the second round, 21 consecutive kids spelled their words correctly.

Other reports by Info About Network

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