Karthik Nemmani Wins The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Grace Parrott of Ketchikan, and Daniel Doudnavo of Fairbanks placed high in this year's National Spelling Bee

The winning word was "koinonia".

The nationals in Oxon Hill, Md., began earlier this week with 516 spellers - an all-time high in the 93-year history of the event - and Thursday's finals started with 41. Bee officials said the plan had been to whittle down the field to about a dozen contestants for the prime-time competition.

Throwing everything he had into his one shot at glory, 14-year-old Karthik outlasted better-known spellers on Thursday night and became the champion after a dramatically abrupt end to the competition, when 12-year-old Naysa Modi misspelled the word "Bewusstseinslage" in the first championship round. He correctly spelled the noun detainer ("the withholding from the rightful owner of something that has lawfully come into the possession of the holder").

Her most challenging word so far?

"I had confidence, but I didn't think it would really happen", Nemmani was quoted as saying by The Dallas Morning News, of his win.

The victor receives $42,500 in cash, plus other prizes. It was his first national spelling bee.

To even get to that point, the finalists had to survive almost five hours of onstage spelling that started Thursday morning.

The 16 remaining spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee are back on stage and ready to continue spelling until a champion emerges.




Her finish is one of the best ever by a speller from Riverside County in the bee.

Karthik is the 14th consecutive Indian-American competition champion.

He said he wasn't overly disappointed by not making it to the finals.

Smith tied for 189th place previous year.

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

Nemmani's cousin, Srivatsav who was a contestant, but didn't get to the finals, said: "I knew he was going to win".

Karthik, for his part, took no pleasure in vanquishing a familiar foe.

A second New Jersey student, Navneeth Murali of Edison, made it to the finals and landed in fifth place after misspelling the word "gelinotte", which is a European woodland grouse.

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