National Spelling Bee Ends in Historic 8-Way Tie After 20 Rounds

The final eight contestants of this year’s National Spelling Bee were named co-champions after successfully going through 20 straight rounds of spelling words without any errors.

Aired live on Thursday, the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee showcased the tremendous skill and composure of the eight finalists who remained standing until the very end of the three-and-a-half-hour final. This year, 562 spellers, aged 12 to 14, competed in the event. 


While it appears that the elite eight could keep going indefinitely, Scripps’ list of “qualified” words were not long enough to keep up, so a decision to name them co-winners at the 20th round was made after the final hit the three-hour mark.

Based on the National Spelling Bee’s rulebook, the competition allows “no more than 25 consecutive rounds of oral spelling involving three or fewer spellers.” Since there were more than three spellers remaining, the officials made the call to make an adjustment and declare co-champions by round 20.

As with the past decade, this year’s event was noticeably dominated by students of Indian descent. In fact, seven of the eight winners this year come from an Indian background. According to CNN, South Asian-Americans have been winning the top spot at the annual competition for the past 12 years.

Featured image via YouTube/ESPN

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