Scripps National Spelling Bee Winners Are Co-Champions, Making 2015 The Second Year In A Row It's Ended In A Tie
For the second year in a row, on Thursday night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned two winners, the Associated Press reported. Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar outlasted all other competitors to take the top prize. Shivashankar's final word was scherenschnitte which means "scissor cuts" and is of German origin (and I know you guys knew that because I TOTALLY did, too). Venkatachalam, who finished third in last year's bee, according to the AP, spelled nunatak as his last word. A nunatak is a word of Inuit origin, and is an island surrounded by a glacier. Venkatachalam was cool as a cucumber, spelling the word without even asking what it meant first.
In last year's bee, according to ESPN, Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe each had one mistake, giving them each the chance to rally, which they did. The two became the first cochampions in 52 years. Before last year, there had not been a tie in the spelling bee since 1962. The 2015 cochamps have become only the fifth pair of winners in the 89-year history of the bee.
Shivashankar's sister Kavya happens to be the 2009 spelling bee champion, and their dad was obviously very proud. His shirt pretty much says it all.
In a bit of a different twist this year, the sentences used to help spellers recognize their words ("can you please use the word in a sentence?") were a little quirkier than in years past. USA Today had a roundup of some of the best spelling bee sentences, including:
"Dane was horrified to find his mother had prepared 'bouillabaisse' as a sleepover snack for his friends."
"The monk explained that several external obstacles had to be overcome in order 'toattainsamadhi,' but promised Sarah that getting through the 15th level of Candy Crush was not one of them."
"When Marnie accused him of being lazy lounging in a hammock all day, Pranjal countered by saying his bone marrow was hard at work through 'cytopoiesis.'"
"Bryan was grateful that having his MP3 player and headphones on the car trip kept him from suffering the 'Tartarean' depths of his sister's taste in music."
"Rumor has it that Drake's next mix-tape contains a rap in which every verse begins and ends with a 'bacchius.'"
Even though they seemed completely calm as they spelled word after word, it was nice to catch an inkling that the two cochampions are still kids. Shivashankar dedicated her performance to her grandmother, who died last year, CNN reported, and Venkatachalam wore a LeBron James jersey under his shirt. He likes LeBron "because he does many things well," Venkatachalam told ESPN.
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