These two kids couldn’t be denied the title of Champion.
On Thursday night the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned two spelling bee winners: 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar and 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam, who both made Bee history.
For the first time ever, a sibling of a past champion won. Vanya, whose sister Kavya won in 2009, spelled “scherenschnitte” correctly to out-spell 283 other contestants and co-win the Bee.
Gokul, who was informed he would be the co-champion if he spelled his final word correctly, didn’t both to ask for a definition when he was asked to spell “nunatak”—which means a hill or a mountain that has been completed surrounded by glacial ice- to us mere mortals.
And just like last year, the 2015 bee organizers ran out of “championship” approved words before Vanya and Gokul ran out of steam, making this an unprecedented tie for the second year in a row.