Monday, May 20, 2024

Eight Teens Crowned Winners at Scripps Bee Championship in Historic First [VIDEO]

*For the first time in the 94-year history of the Scripps Spelling Bee competition, eight winners were crowned champions after surviving 20 total rounds and spelling the final 47 words correctly.

The voice of the Scripps Bee, Jacques Bailly, announced three hours into the final competition on Thursday night the decision to allow up to eight winners — marking the first time more than two contestants will share the honor.

“Champion spellers, we are now in uncharted territory,” Bailly told the finalists. “We do have plenty of words remaining on our list. But we will soon run out of words that will possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal collection of super spellers in the history of this competition.”

The winners were via USA Today: Rishik Gandhasri, 13; Erin Howard, 14; Saketh Sundar, 13;  Shruthika Padhy, 13; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13; Abhijay Kodali, 12; Christopher Serrao, 13; and Rohan Raja, 13.

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“When this got announced, we weren’t expecting anything that could happen like octochamps,” Christopher said Friday on “Good Morning America.” “When it was announced, we were just so excited.”

The teens will each receive $50,000 in cash, a Scripps trophy, reference books and trips to New York and Hollywood to appear on talk shows.

“It’s definitely much more special because it’s an amazing experience and you’re sharing it with seven other people who know exactly what you’re going through,” said Shruthika. “You’re sharing this experience for the rest of your life.”

The eight co-champions won their titles by correctly spelling: auslaut, erysipelas, bougainvillea, aiguillette, pendeloque, palama, cernuous and odylic.

“I was very happy when I realized that, yes, there was a chance that we could be octochamps,” added Sohum, describing the win as the “culmination of months and even years of hard work.”

The winners said they plan to save the $50,000 prize money for college.

“I think that when you reach the top 10, at the end of the day it does depend on a little bit of luck with what word you get,” said Christopher. “All of us together, we have like a camaraderie between each other.”


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