Co-champions. Can you use that in a sentence?
After 20 rounds and more than three hours, the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee opted for co-champions instead of one true winner.
Rishik Gandhasri won the 2019 iteration of the spelling bee with a correct spelling of “auslat.” Then Erin Howard also won. And so did, Saketh Sundar. And Shruthika Padhy. Down the line it went, with Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja all correctly spelled their final word and walked away from the microphone to a standing applause.
Each of the winners will still be given a Scripps Cup and the $50,000 cash prize.
Dictionary loses to 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-Champs:#Speller5 Rishik Gandhasri#Speller93 Erin Howard#Speller132 Saketh Sundar#Speller307 Shruthika Padhy#Speller354 Sohum Sukhatankar#Speller407 Abhijay Kodali#Speller427 Christopher Serrao#Speller462 Rohan Raja
— Scripps National Spelling Bee (@ScrippsBee) May 31, 2019
While many took to Twitter at the start of the NBA Finals on Thursday complaining about ESPN’s scheduling conflict with the Spelling Bee and the Finals, it turns out they didn’t miss much.
The Finals, which started 30 minutes after the Spelling Bee, ended before the Bee. And those who tuned in following Toronto’s 118-109 Game 1 win weren’t even rewarded for their efforts.
Just after midnight on the east coast, the eight spellers were named co-champions in what announcers described as the spelling bee that could “change everything.”
At 11:19 p.m. EDT, speller number five, Rishik Gandhasri, asked what the time was. After nearly three hours, the spellers looked tired. But once Dr. Jacques Bailly announced after the 17th round that any speller left after the 20th round would be declared a winner, no one misspelled another word.
Even with eight winners, perhaps the biggest winner of the night was the Bee’s official announcer, Dr. Bailly and his overly fitting tie.
— Peter Sokolowski (@PeterSokolowski) May 31, 2019
Announcers hinted that this year may change the spelling bee in future years. And it probably should. For now, let’s just hope it doesn't change Dr. Bailly’s tie game.
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