National Spelling Bee 2014 Ends in a Tie for First Time Since 1962

Image: National Spelling Bee 2014 Ends in a Tie for First Time Since 1962 Co-champions Ansun Sujoe, 13, and Sriram Hathwar, 14.

Friday, 30 May 2014 07:24 AM

By Newsmax Wires

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The National Spelling Bee 2014 crowned not one, but two champions Thursday night in the first tie since 1962, according to The Associated Press.

After all, it wouldn't have seemed right for one of them to finish second. Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe had essentially used up the entire list of words the Bee had to offer. The one time Sriram misspelled, Ansun did too. Then they were spot on for their final 12 spellings combined, acing dark-corner-of-the-dictionary stuff like "thymelici," "encaenia," "skandhas," "sdrucciola," and "holluschick."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Sriram had been a favorite to win. Ansun had come out of nowhere. When it was all done, 14-year-old Sriram from Painted Post, New York, and 13-year-old Ansun from Fort Worth, Texas, had each won $30,000 in cash as co-winners of the 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"I think we both know that the competition is against the dictionary and not against each other," Sriram said. "I'm happy to share this trophy with him."

Not since 1962 had the Bee ended in a tie. It came about because the rules state that only 25 words remain once the competition is down to two or three spellers. Sriram thought he was a goner when he stumbled on "corpsbruder" (a close comrade), but Ansun then couldn't handle "antigropelos" (waterproof leggings).

So they kept going, the spelling celebrity and the upstart, and the doomsday bell never sounded again.

Sriram was competing in the Bee for the fifth time and had finished third last year. He had received the full ESPN star treatment. Ansun, looking fashionable in a red bowtie, failed to get out of the preliminaries in his only previous appearance — and was one of Sriram's fans.

"Definitely — I'd seen him in the finals," Ansun said. "And I wanted to be like that."

Turns out they're exactly alike — at least in the final rankings.

"A veteran and, let's say, a rookie," Sriram said with a smile long after the confetti had settled. "It's pretty cool."

Sriram likes swimming, skating, playing basketball and the oboe and wants to be an ophthalmologist. (Both of his parents are doctors.) Ansun is a gifted musician and wants to be an engineer, like his father. Both are Indian-American, making it seven years in a row that a speller of Indian descent has taken home the trophy. The run began in 1999 with Nupur Lala, who was featured in the documentary "Spellbound."

The Bee is always good for colorful moments as bright kids enjoy their turn in the spotlight. This week, a new word was coined — "spellfie" — as spellers, family and fans took photos of themselves in addition to the usual rush to collect each other's autographs. The week began with the annual barbecue, when Sriram was inducted into an oddly-named group of spellers that hang out online.

"I'm happy to represent 'The Order of the Squushy Carrots,' I guess," he said onstage after his victory.

Ansun isn't a Squushy Carrot — at least not yet — but he and Sriram have something more important in common that helped them come out on top. Ansun's mother said her son has a photographic memory. Sriram said he's studied the dictionary so much that he has a "GPS system" in his brain and can recall the page where a word appears.

"It's like flipping through the dictionary in my mind," Sriram said.

Those abilities to visualize the letters paid off. Sriram's final word was "stichomythia," a theatrical term. Ansun, told he was spelling for a tie, then wrapped up the competition with "feulleton," the features section of a European newspaper or magazine.

Then came the celebration. Among the biggest smiles was on the face of Bhageerathi Pathwar, Sriram's grandmother, who made the trip from Bangalore just for the Bee.

"It was worth it," she beamed.

Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved