June 2019 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE
7 Indian-origin kids are US Spelling Bee co-champions

Seven Indian-origin kids, along with an American ...

By Arul Louis

Seven Indian-origin kids, along with an American, were in May declared co-champions of the US National Spelling Bee after the tie among the eight couldn’t be broken even after 20 rounds of the finals. The unprecedented decision to declare eight co-champions was taken on May 30 night after the organisers ran out of their selection of difficult words to challenge them further.

The 10-year monopoly of Indian-origin children was finally broken with a non-Indian girl from Alabama, Erin Howard, becoming a co-champion. The seven Indian-origin winners (with the final word they spelled correctly in parenthesis) are Rishik Gandhasri (auslaut), Saketh Sundar (bougainvillea), Shruthika Padhy (aiguillette), Sohum Sukhatankar (pendeloque), Abhijay Kodali (palama), Christopher Serrao (cernuous) and Rohan Raja (odylic). The winners, who will each get $50,000 and a trophy, were the last ones standing from among the 562 contestants drawn from across the US and abroad. In the past only two co-winners were declared - most recently Indians in 2014, 2015 and 2016 - making the eight this year a record.

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