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Indian-origin teen wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

01 June 2018

A 14-year-old from McKinney, Texas now holds the title as the nation's best young speller. But he was still good enough to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Nemmani out-spelled a record 515 contestants on his way to the Scripps Bee trophy. Two Texans in the finals - Rohan and Karthik - made it to Washington thanks to the new rule.

"I'm just really happy". "I felt kind of nervous because I know anybody can get any word, and there's lots of luck involved".

Thursday had begun with 41 spellers who qualified for the finals after surviving what was arguably the most intense competition in the bee's 93-year history.

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The answer, of course, is cholent, and 13-year-old Shiva Yeshlur from Wyoming spelled the word correctly - with a little help.

Finalists talk as Karthik Nemmani spells a word during the final round. Four of the 16 prime-time finalists were wild cards.

Karthik said he went 20 rounds toe-to-toe with Naysa in their local Bee, only to be invited to the National Spelling Bee through the RSVBee programme where they would again square off on stage, the Spelling Bee said in a statement. The official pronouncer since 2003 and 1980 Bee champion, Bailly got his first chance to pass the microphone to colleague Brian Sietsema.

While it's true that not everyone has cable access to watch the competing spellers, there is a way around this. "I wouldn't say I expected it".

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Another Indian-American, Atman Balakrishnan, the 12-year-old son of 1985 champion Balu Natarajan, did not advance to the finals. Each speller stood in front of the microphone and saw the bright lights at least once as the Bee trimmed its massive pool Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is the third time Aisha is competing in the national bee. "She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Karthik said of Naysa.

Remmers said her daughter, a seventh-grader at Target Range School, was watching her face when she was on the phone.

The definition of the winning word "koinonia" is: the Christian fellowship or body of believers, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. "When I heard it".

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Indian-origin teen wins Scripps National Spelling Bee