A record eight spellers were crowned co-champions Thursday night after each correctly spelled a word in the 20th and final round.
Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja spelled the final 47 words correctly in their historic walk-off victory, going through five consecutive perfect rounds at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland.
“I want there to be 8 NBA champions this year.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 31, 2019
“We have plenty of words left on our list but will soon run out of words that would challenge you,” said the Bee’s official pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly, calling those remaining in the 17th round “the most phenomenal assemblage of super-spellers” in the competition’s history. The crowd agreed with a standing ovation. “We’re throwing the dictionary at you and so far, you are showing the dictionary who is boss.”
The Dictionary concedes and adds that it is SO. PROUD. https://t.co/VY3TmUAwpr
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) May 31, 2019
The majority of the spellers had personal coaches, and 13 of the 16 used word lists and study materials compiled by ex-spellers Shobha Dasari and her younger brother, Shourav. Shobha, who’s 18 and will go to Stanford in the fall, said the proliferation of private coaches and online study guides has simplified speller preparation, but she still gave credit to the champions.
Time to get some new words.
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