Besting 515 competitors from across the United States, a 14-year-old Indian-American student won the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Karthik Nemmani, who hails from McKinney, Texas, became this year’s champion after correctly spelling the word “koinonia” on Thursday night. According to Merriam-Webster, the winning word means “Christian fellowship or body of believers.”
The three-day national competition, which started on Tuesday, was down to just 16 remaining competing students by Thursday.
The day of the final showdown was especially tough, with the competitors spelling out words like “lophophytosis,” “pseudepigrapha,” “propylaeum,” and “ooporphyrin.”
Nemmani’s road to victory had him spelling words such as “grognard,” “ankyloglossia,” and “miarolitic.”
“This has been a dream come true,” Karthik was quoted by BuzzFeed as saying.
The last round of the competition saw Nemmani against his hometown rival, 12-year-old Naysa Modi, another Indian-American student who is also from Texas.
Modi, who successfully spelled difficult words like “videlicet,” “succiniferous,” and “forçat,” failed to spell the word “bewusstseinslage” correctly, costing her the victory.
The word means “a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components.”
The spelling bee champ is also set to receive a $2,500 reference library from Merriam-Webster and a three-year online membership to Encyclopedia Britannica.
An overnight star, Nemmani will soon appear on television shows “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Live! with Kelly and Ryan.”
Featured Image via YouTube / ESPN