During last night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, eight contestants proved they were smarter than the dictionary.
And as the dictionary wrote on Twitter:
The Dictionary concedes and adds that it is SO. PROUD.
On May 30, hundreds of young scholars competed to become the next National Spelling Bee champion, none of them expecting that the end result would be something fans of the Bee haven’t seen in 92 years.
Not one, not two, not six, but eight competitors defeated the dictionary and “after 20 rounds of intensive, record-breaking competition,” all eight of the students left standing went home as winners. It was the first time in Spelling Bee history this has ever happened.
They now call themselves “octochamps.”
As ABC reports, the first speller to win was 13-year-old Rishik Gandhasri, who spelled “auslaut.” The second was 14-year-old Erin Howard, who spelled “erysipelas.” The third was 13-year-old Saketh Sundar, who spelled “bougainvillea” correctly.
For the first time in the 92-year history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the dictionary has lost to the kids as the competition named 8 co-champions. https://t.co/l4T8IL5uFX pic.twitter.com/2Dan3Y5y75
— CNN (@CNN) May 31, 2019
Then came 13-year-old Shruthika Padhy, who spelled out “aiguillette” and Sohum Sukhatankar who nailed “pendeloque.” Texas native Abhijay Kodali earned his title as champion by spelling “palama” and Christopher Serrao, 13, joined the ranks after spelling “cernuous.”
And then came the final winner, 13-year-old Rohan Raja, who spelled “odylic” to take the cake.
Each of the winners took home $50,000 for their historic accomplishment. However, it’s unclear who will get to keep the single trophy.
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In an unprecedented display of academic achievement, eight spellers have become co-champions of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee, making history as the first group to share the coveted title in the 92 years of the storied event. Congratulations to our eight champions: Erin Howard; Rishik Gandhasri; Abhijay Kodali; Shruthika Padhy; Rohan Raja; Saketh Sundar; Sohum Sukhatankar; and Christopher Serrao. #spellingbee
While on “Good Morning America,” celebrating their win, Padhy said it’s so much better being an octochampion than just a champion:
“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. You’re sharing this experience for the rest of your life.”
And some of the other winners agreed. Sukhatankar said, “I was very happy when I realized that, yes, there was a chance that we could be octochamps,” while Serrao added:
“When this got announced, we weren’t expecting anything that could happen like octochamps. When it was announced, we were just so excited.”