Spell it U-N-P-R-E-C-E-D-E-N-T-E-D.
After 20 historic rounds, eight competitors were named co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Sixteen children had advanced to the finals on Thursday, having said goodbye to 50 participants after 5 1/2 hours of competition at Oxon Hill, Md.
The winners were Rishik Gandhasri, 13; Erin Howard, 14; Saketh Sundar, 13; Shruthika Padhy, 13; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13; Abhijay Kodali, 12; Christopher Serrao (13) and Rohan Raja (13).
The finalists made their way through challenging words, often relying on Greek and Latin roots and word origins to identify the correct letters to win $ 50,000 in cash and prizes.
Ten spelling mistakes were eliminated in the first round, but the competition got sharper as the round progressed and fewer misspellings were eliminated.
THE GLOCK RING TWICE: REPRIEVE FOR BEE CONTEST In the second round only six Speller were eliminated, in round three five more were eliminated and in round four four children were booted. In the fifth round, eight Speller were eliminated, paving the way for the last 16 Prime Time candidates.
Two bee veterans, 14-year-old Erin Howard from Huntsville, Ala., And 13-year-old Shruthika Padhy from Cherry Hill, NJ, made it into prime time for a third year.
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Last year's runner-up, 12-year-old Abhijay Kodali from Flower Mound, Texas, and 13-year-old Navneeth Murali from Edison, NJ; 13-year-old Aisha Randhawa from Corona, California; 13-year-old Rohan Raja from Irving, Texas; 13-year-old Simone Kaplan from Davie, Fla., Returned to the Spellwheeling Stage from previous years of competition.