13-year-old Jairam Hathwar and 11-year-old Nihar Janga crowned co-champions.
We have a tie. Again. The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year Thursday night, with 13-year-old Jairam Hathwar of Painted Post, New York and 11-year-old Nihar Janga of Austin, Texas emerging as co-champions out of a field of 284 spellers, after 39 epic rounds of competition.
It was a dramatic, knock-down drag-out face-off between two spelling bee gangstas. Jairam's final word in the competition was "feldenkrais," a trademark that refers to a system of aided body movements. Nihar stayed in the competition by correctly spelling "gesellschaft," which refers to a type of social relationship.
Twice, it looked like Jairam might be knocked out of the competition, after he misspelled "drahthaar," a breed of dog, and "mischsprache," a language. But Nihar missed his follow-up words, which put Jairam back in contention. Neither speller was going out like that. In the end, the spelling bee ran out of words.
Jairam and Nihar spelled them all.