Seven Indian-origin students have won the US National Spelling Bee for the first time in 94-years.
The National Bee is a high-profile, high-pressure endurance test as much as a nerd spelling match and spellers spend months preparing for it.
Six boys and two girls combined to spell the final 47 words correctly over five consecutive perfect rounds, taking home more than USD 50,000 in cash and prizes, after defeating over 550 other contestants in an unprecedented competition.
It is the first time in the 94-year history of the contest that more than two co-champions have been named.
The winning seven.
Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of California; Saketh Sundar, 13, of Maryland; Shruthika Padhy, 13, of New Jersey; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Texas; Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Texas; Rohan Raja, 13, of Texas; Christopher Serrao, 13, of New Jersey and Erin Howard, 14, of Alabama were named as co-champions.
Each will receive the full winner’s prize of USD 50,000 in cash.
The six boys and two girls combined to spell the final 47 words correctly over five consecutive perfect rounds in the most extraordinary ending of the competition.
The competition, took place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland.
It kicked off with its biggest field ever. The 565 contestants ranged in age from 7 to 14 and came from across the US and several other countries, including Canada, Ghana and Jamaica.
They did have plenty of words remaining on the list, but they would have soon run out of words that can possibly challenge them, the most phenomenal assemblage of super spellers in the history of this competition.
The final words spelled correctly by the co-champions include auslaut by Gandhasri, erysipelas by Howard, bougainvillea by Sundar, aiguillette by Padhy, pendeloque by Sukhatankar, palama by Kodali, cernuous by Serrao and odylic by Raja.
The majority of the spellers had personal coaches, and 13 of the 16 used word lists and study materials compiled by ex-spellers Shobha Dasari and her younger brother, Shourav.