US & Canada

US Spelling Bee: 'Feldenkrais' and 'Gesellschaft' bring another tie

Co-champions Nihar Saireddy Janga (L) and Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar (R) hold their trophy upon completion of the final round at the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland U.S. May 26, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A tie for the third time in a row

It was the words "Feldenkrais" and "Gesellschaft" that made Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga co-champions of the US Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Nihar, 11, and Jairam, 13, went head-to-head for 25 rounds with the annual contest going late into the night in Maryland.

"I can't say anything. I'm just in fifth grade," said Nihar - the youngest champion since 2002 - after his win.

Each winner receives a trophy and $45,000 (£30,700) in cash and prizes.

This is the third tie in a row at the bee. The organisers had implemented the 25-round spell-off to try to avoid a deadlock.

Some meanings of the spell-off words

Feldenkrais is a method of education

Gesellschaft is a type of social relationship

Biniou is a Breton bagpipe

Taoiseach is the Irish word for prime minister

Mischsprache is a fused language

Tetradrachm is a kind of coin

Despite the rivalry, the two boys gave each other encouraging hand slaps as they passed each other on the way to and from the microphone.

Jairam gave Nihar a chance to win when he missed "Drahthaar" a kind of dog. But Nihar then slipped up on "ayacahuite", a Mexican tree.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jairam and Nihar follow many other Americans of South Asian descent in winning the bee

After several rounds the announcer said: "This is a beautiful moment. If you both spell the next word correctly, you will be declared co-champions."

They both got their words right and the audience erupted in cheers.

Jairam and Nihar are the ninth consecutive winners of South Asian descent. Jairam's brother, Sriram, was the 2014 co-champion.

The finalists are selected after two days of written and oral tests.

Related Topics

More on this story