OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — When the confetti flew, two boys stood in the center of the stage and shook hands. They held up the trophy together.
Both were champions, a Scripps National Spelling Bee finish unseen in more than half a century.
Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, shared the title after a riveting final-round duel Thursday night.
They had essentially used up the entire list of 25 championship words the Bee had to offer.
The one time Sriram misspelled, Ansun did too. The word was
Sriram opened the door to an upset by Ansun after he misspelled “corpsbruder,” a close comrade. But Ansun was unable to take the title because he got “antegropelos,” which means waterproof leggings, wrong.
Then they were spot on for their final 12 spellings combined, acing words such as “thymelici,” ”encaenia,” ”skandhas,” ”sdrucciola” and “holluschick.”
Sriram had been a favorite to win. Ansun just missed the semifinals last year.
Each won $30,000 in cash as co-winners.