Texas teen wins National Spelling Bee

Texas teen wins National Spelling Bee

The only reason Karthik made it to this year's national competition was through a wildcard program that was just instituted.

Aritra Banerjee of Rocky Hill spelled "asytrocyte" and Arin Bhandari of West Haven spelled "congratulatory" to advance.

An eighth-grader from McKinney, Texas, Karthik won the spelling competition after numerous rounds against Naysa Modi, another Indian-American student, underscoring the overwhelming dominance of Indian-Americans in the competition.

Karthik Nemmani spelled "koinonia" to win the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md.

Karthik Nemmani spelt "koinonia" correctly for his victory on Thursday, beating out five others in the last rounds.

As champion of the 93-year-old competition, he will receive more than $42,000 in cash and prizes.

Abhijay's older sister, Ananya Kodali, was one of those blue-chip Dallas spellers who never made it to nationals - she lost twice at regionals to a speller who ended up finishing fifth on the Scripps stage.

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The Spelling Bee is not merely a memory test of exotic words as it also requires learning about the origins of words and the languages they are derived from.

Nemmani also continued a long-time trend by becoming the 14th champion or co-champion of South Asian descent the bee has had in 11 consecutive years.

The massive field of spellers began competing in earnest Tuesday by taking a written test so hard that there were no flawless scores this year. Add National Spelling Bee as an interest to stay up to date on the latest National Spelling Bee news, video, and analysis from ABC News. And more than 130 of the 516 vying for the crown this year were from the same community.

"I've been scrubbing the Internet since we left the Bee previous year", her mother, Alana Kaplan, said.

"He just really wanted to get it", he said.

Mattie's father, Hollis, told The Telegram Wednesday before the final round announcement that she was relieved after spelling her two words correctly onstage. "I wanted to watch", he said with a laugh.

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