Eight children spelt the final 47 words correctly creating history for the first time in the contest’s 94-years in the United States’ Scripps National Spelling Bee by becoming champions. The winners took home $50,000 in cash and a trophy each, six were Indian-American among them.
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”.
The unprecedented decision was made after round 17, when it was announced that while there were plenty of words left in the dictionary, there were only enough challenging words for three final rounds.
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.”
The winners: Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao, Rohan Raja.