Eight kids tied to win the National Spelling Bee on Thursday, an unprecedented ending in the 92 years of the contest.
For more than 3 1/2 hours, spellers 12 to 14 proved they could handle almost everything the competition threw their way, confidently tracing letters on their palms and correctly identifying foreign-language roots. Thursday's finals were the fourth day of the bee, which drew 562 spellers from all 50 states.
From that talented field, sixteen kids took the finals stage at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland, many of them with experience in previous years' bees. After 20 rounds, eight remained and were named co-champions;
The winners are Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao, and Rohan Raja.
First place in the spelling bee wins a $ 50,000 cash prize as well as reference books and a $ 2,500 savings bond.
The official National Spelling Bee account on Thursday said it was ready to pass out the checks: