Wild card triumph: Little-known speller wins national bee

Courtesy Google Trends

Courtesy Google Trends

Akash participated in the bee thanks to a new rule known as "RSVBee", which opens up the competition to those who did not win in a regional or state bee.

The massive field of spellers began competing in earnest Tuesday by taking a written test so hard that there were no ideal scores this year.

Karthik had to spell two words correctly to seal the title, which he did easily, and the lanky, soft-spoken Texan stepped back and smiled as he was showered with confetti.

The final two spellers, Naysa Modi, 12, from Frisco, Texas, left, and Karthik Nemmani, 14, from McKinney, Texas, wait to spell their words during the evening finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.

"I'm just going to worry about it one round at a time, and use all the information that the pronouncer gives me", she said upon being named a finalist. "I felt kind of nervous because I know anybody can get any word, and there's lots of luck involved".

Nemmani, a 14-year-old from Texas, defeated a field of more than 515 spellers, aged 8 to 15, hailing from across the United States and eight other countries.

After competing in fierce local rounds, the top spellers convened in National Harbor, Maryland, for the national finals. Four of the remaining spellers got in via wild cards. This was her fourth national spelling bee.


While it's true that not everyone has cable access to watch the competing spellers, there is a way around this.

Abhijay Kodali, 11, of Flower Mound, Texas, tied for third, lasting until Round 16. "I wouldn't say I expected it". Each speller stood in front of the microphone and saw the bright lights at least once as the Bee trimmed its massive pool Tuesday and Wednesday.

Aidan won the Treasure State title, which automatically qualified him for the national event, his second appearance there.

Yet amid the bigger Bee, returning spellers continued their dominance, even though a first-time competitor won.

Erin, who was eliminated in round 10, told USA TODAY earlier this week that she felt pressure to improve from already stellar performance. "I just want to be happy however I place".

New reports of Natarajan's win at the time were headlined as that the child of immigrants, and his winning word "milieu" was used to draw out the uniqueness of the feat. "When I heard it".

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