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Bridging The Gap
Spelling Bee: Record eight children win Scripps National in the US
  Friday 31 May, 2019
Spelling Bee: Record eight children win Scripps National in the US

A record number of eight children have been crowned co-champions in the US of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

On Thursday night the finalists, aged 12 to 14, correctly spelled their way through 20 tough rounds of the competition.

Organisers eventually announced that it was a tie, as they had run out of words that were challenging enough.

Officials say this is the first time in the competition's 94-year history that there have been eight winners.

This year's contest was held in Oxon Hill in Maryland. It began on 26 May and lasted for three days.

Some 562 super-spellers under the age of 15, from across the US, US territories and six other countries, took part.

But it was Rishik Gandhasri, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Erin Howard, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja who took home the top title.

As the final eight stood strong in the 18th round, Jacques Bailly, the bee's pronouncer, told them: "We're throwing the dictionary at you, and, so far, you are showing the dictionary who's boss!"

Saketh, 13, told Associated Press: "I don't know if I would've won if they kept going. I was super tired because it was like [midnight], and I was exhausted."

Each will now receive a prize of $50,000 (39,700), a $2,500 savings bond and reference books.

Among the words they spelled correctly were omphalopsychite, a person who stares at their navel to induce a mystical trance, and auftaktigkeit, a musical principle where all musical phrases begin on an upbeat.

There were quite a few tough medical terms in there too - including erysipelas, an infection that causes red rashes on the skin, and geeldikkop, a type of plant poisoning that can affect sheep.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee was started in 1925. However, this is the 92nd event because there were no competitions held in 1943, 1944 or 1945.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48470222

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