We have a winner! Two winners, actually. Congratulations to Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe, co-champions of the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Both young men were declared winners after -- no joke -- the competition officially ran out of words. That's right. Sriram and Ansun spelled all the words.
How do you spell T-I-E? National Spelling Bee has two winners
The annual spelling showdown ended in a rare tie -- the first in more than 50 years -- after the two finalists correctly spelled and exhausted all the words on competition's list. The spelling bee rules dictate that once three contestants are left, the pronouncer begins using a championship (read: crazy difficult) list of 25 words. If those words run out before a winner emerges, a tie is declared.
14-year-old Sriram, an eighth-grader from Painted Post, New York, correctly spelled the word "stichomythia," which means a dramatic dialogue, especially of an altercation, delivered by two actors.
13-year-old Ansun, a seventh-grader from Fort Worth, Texas, correctly spelled the word "feuilleton," which is defined as part of a European newspaper devoted to "material designed to entertain the general reader."
The three-day competition started Tuesday with hundreds of spellers from around the world:
The competition that started Tuesday with 281 spellers from around the world was whittled down to 12 contestants -- four girls and eight boys -- between 11 and 15 years old who made it to the final.
During the roughly 2 1/2-hour showdown, there was much hand-wringing and fidgeting, breath-holding and brow-furrowing among the mélange of braces, glasses, slouches, and high fives that have become a hallmark of the bee.
By the end of the fourth round of spelling Thursday night, half the contestants were gone. And at the start of the fifth, the last two girls were knocked out, one-two. Mary Horton, 13, missed "aetites" -- a nodule of clay ironstone -- and 14-year-old Alia Abiad of Illinois tripped up on "irbis" -- a snow leopard.
Then it was down to the boys. There were three left at the end of the sixth round, Sriram, Ansun, and 13-year-old Missourian Gokul Venkatachalam. Gokul went on to spell "bamboche" -- a Haitian social gathering -- and "abaisse" -- a thin undercrust of pastry -- before missing "Kierkegaardian" -- pertaining to philosopher Kierkegaard.
Ansun and Sriram continued on spelling, although they had a close call when both got their words wrong. Sriram missed "corpsbruder," (a close comrade), spelling it "k-o-r-b-r-u-i-t-e-r." Ansun erred on "antigropelos" (waterproof leggings), spelling it "a-n-t-i-g-r-o-p-o-l-o-s." But they each went error-free after that until the tie was declared in the 16th round of finals spelling.
So for the first time since 1962, we have spelling bee co-champions. It's also definitely worth noting that this is the seventh consecutive year that Indian American students have conquered the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Or, as comedian Hari Kondabolu proudly calls it, The Indian Super Bowl.
Sriram and Ansun will share the title, but they won't have to share the prizes. Both winners will each walk away with the full champion's booty: a $30,000 cash prize, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond, a complete reference library from Merriam-Webster, and $1,200 worth of reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica. And of course, the supreme bragging rights of a spellebrity.
More here: National Spelling bee championship ends in a tie
Alas, you can't have brown kids being totally awesome on national television without racist idiots taking to Twitter to talk shit. So that certainly happened.
Not to be offensive...but how do kids from India dominate the American spelling bee?!?— Ryan Cooper (@RyanCooper_24) May 30, 2014
More here: Scripps National Spelling Bee draws racially charged comments after Indian Americans win again