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14-Year-Old McKinney Boy Wins National Spelling Bee With Record Registrants

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A 14-year-old from McKinney, Texas has just won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and he couldn’t be happier. Karthik Nemmani has surpassed the largest number of finalists in the competition’s history, winning the event by properly spelling the word “koinonia” which refers to “the Christian fellowship or body of believers,” according to Merriam-Webster (contest sponsor).

Held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ran its contestants through words that not even computer spellcheckers were able to keep up with.”These kids would beat the pants off most adults,” explained linguist Grant Barrett, who is the co-host of “A Way With Words,” a nationally syndicated radio show.

Shared on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution YouTube channel, this report about Nemmani shows just how happy he was to have outlasted such competitors as 12-year-old Naysa Modi (also from Texas), who misstepped on the word “bewusstseinslage,” meaning “a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components.” This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee saw 16 finalists (its largest ever), narrowed down in a three-day competition that had a record 515 registrants. E.W. Scripps is a media company that has run this competition since 1941, and entrants hailed from throughout the U.S. as well as eight additional countries. Prize money for Nemmani is $40,000 and, of course, the title of “champ!” Well done young man!