Eight children from across the US have emerged as super spellers from a field of 562 at a national competition. Each winner will receive $50,000 after completing 20 successful rounds.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States was forced to crown eight winners on Thursday night after a redoubtable display of lexical skills over the three-day event in Oxon Hill in the US state of Maryland.
The co-champions, six boys and two girls, are aged from 12 to 14. They were Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja.
With three rounds to go, the bee's pronouncer, Jacques Bailly, had to admit that the children were winning out against the dictionary.
"We do have plenty of words remaining on our list. But we will soon run out of words that will possibly challenge you, the most phenomenal collections of super spellers in the history of this competition," he said.
Each winner will receive $50,000 (€44,909) and a trophy.
Officials said that there have been ties in the past, but never eight co-champions.
The National Spelling Bee has been held every year since 1925, with a break from 1943-1945 because of World War II. The rights to the competition were obtained by the E.W. Scripps company in 1941. Competitors can be aged up to 15.
tj/msh (Reuters, AP)