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Education News

National Spelling Bee Ends With 2 Winners

For the second straight year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with co-champions.

The championship for the National Spelling Bee was Thursday night.

Siddharth Krishnakumar, a seventh grader in Pearland Junior High West, made it to the final four before he spelled a word wrong. He misspelled “minhag,” defined as a Jewish religious custom. 



It was Krishnakumar’s first time competing at the spelling bee. 

The third contestant, Cole Shafer-Ray spelled the word “acritarch” incorrectly and was out. 

The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with co-champions each holding one side of the golden trophy while being showered with confetti.

Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam were the last two standing Thursday after exhausting the 25 words reserved for the final three spellers without stumbling. Before last year, there hadn’t been a tie since 1962.

No one was surprised to see Vanya and Gokul dueling for the title. They came in with high expectations — Vanya, the longtime darling of the bee and Gokul, who last year had the trophy nearly in his grasp.

But the tie shocked Paige Kimble, the bee’s executive director and the 1981 champion, who predicted last week that another half-century would go by before the bee would crown two winners.

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