Karthik Nemmani, a 14-year-old Indian-American boy, today won the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking home more than Dollars 42,000 in cash and prizes after correctly spelling "koinonia" to become the 14th champion from the community in 11 consecutive years.
The end of the biggest Scripps National Spelling Bee in history came abruptly, and it wasn't the conclusion that many expected.
Another Indian-American, Atman Balakrishnan, the 12-year-old son of 1985 champion Balu Natarajan, did not advance to the finals.
Koinonia means Christian fellowship (you can see full definition here).
According to his father Krishna, he was able to spell "horse" at the age of 3 and won his first spelling bee at 4. Naysa tied for seventh place last year, tied for 46th place the year before and tied for 50th place in 2015.
He wins more than $40,000 cash, the Scripps trophy, and trips to NY and Los Angeles for national television appearances, among other prizes.
Anisha Rao, 12, from Dublin, Calif., left, and Nidhi Vadlamudi, 12, from Santa Clara, Calif., yawn and stretch during a break at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.
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Simone Kaplan, a sixth-grader from St. Bonaventure Catholic School in Davie, is among 16 spellers still alive in the Scripps National Spelling Bee heading into the primetime finals that air live on ESPN from the Washington area starting at 8:30 p.m.
Her finish is one of the best ever by a speller from Riverside County in the bee.
"He deserves it. He would have beaten me, definitely", Sri said.
Reagan's spelling - balaklava - was correct for the city in the Ukraine, but not correct for the garment that covers the head, neck and most of the face, which is spelled balaclava. "We weren't against each other".
Out of 516 spellers on Tuesday, 454 spelled correctly and advanced to the third round Wednesday.
The finals began with 41 spellers, and the number slowly dwindled over five rounds, but there was never a mass exodus from the stage.