Spelling Bee ends with eight co-champs
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 5/31/19, 10:45 am
The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee wrapped up a few minutes past midnight Friday with an unprecedented eight co-champions, after the winners spelled a remarkable 47 consecutive words correctly. The winners were Rishik Gandharsi, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhantankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao, Rohan Raja, and Erin Howard. Former runner-up Naysa Modi, who missed this year’s finals, claimed afterward that the final words weren’t difficult enough for any of the competitors. Some of the final words included “auslaut,” “palama,” “cernuous,” and “odylic.”
“I don’t know if I would’ve won if they kept going,” 13-year-old Sundar said. “I was super tired because it was like 12 o’clock, and I was exhausted.”
From 2014 through 2016, the Spelling Bee ended in two-way ties, sparking criticism that the competition might be too easy and that a tiebreaker test was needed. Scripps installed a test, but it was unnecessary and removed in 2017 and 2018.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.