Karthik Nemmani correctly spells 'koinonia' to win Scripps Spelling Bee

Karthik Nemmani correctly spells 'koinonia' to win Scripps Spelling Bee

State spelling bees are sponsored by news organizations, a tradition that began with the first spelling bee in 1925, sponsored by the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, to promote literacy. Reagan's aunt, Claire Hinther, was a county spelling bee champion, but also made it to the finals for the National Geographic Bee.

Competitors in the Scripps National Spelling Bee often struggle to contain their emotions as they react to obscure, complicated or tricked-up words that they may have never heard before.

Of the past 23 champions, 19 have had Indian heritage.

Koinonia means Christian fellowship (you can see full definition here).

He showed his aptitude for spelling early, arranging block letters to form the word "horse" at age three, said his father, Krishna Nemmani. She first competed in the bee as a cherubic 9-year-old.

Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas was the victor of the ultimate resume builder for a teenaged student - along with $40,000 cash-money, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, and encyclopedias (they still make encyclopedias?). In addition to the trophy, he gets more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. And several had appeared at the national bee in previous years.

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Snehal Choudhury, 13, from Massillon, Ohio, right, reacts after spelling her word correctly during competition in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The 16 spellers took the stage at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland to battle it out for the title of champion. She'll be in eighth grade, which is the final school year that spellers are eligible.

The third Montanan to make the national contest, Karrissa Zanett, a 15-year-old home-schooled student from Big Fork, was eliminated in Round 2 when she misspelled "flechette".

Nemmani's cousin, Srivatsav who was a contestant, but didn't get to the finals, said: "I knew he was going to win".

The bee had 519 spellers participating in rounds one and two, and 452 take part in round three. Those spellers remained flawless for a round before Navneeth Murali, 12, of Edison, N.J., spelled incorrectly "gelinotte".

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