Photos: National Spelling Bee ends in a tie for second year in a row

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Vanya Shivashankar (L) of Olathe, Kansas, and Gokul Venkatachalam, St. Louis Missouri lift the trophy after becoming co-champions after the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Maryland May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Vanya Shivashankar at left and Gokul Venkatachalam at right lift the trophy after becoming co-champions the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Until last year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee hadn’t seen a tie for more than five decades. Last night’s 88th championship marked the second year in a row that ended in a tie.

The competition began with 283 young spellers and left two standing in the final moments.

Cole Shafer-Ray of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, spells "commissurotomy" during the final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Maryland May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Cole Shafer-Ray of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, forgoes the “writing” out a word on his name card, for “typing” in the air. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

After 13-year-old Vanya Shivashanker of Olathe, Kansas, correctly spelled “scherenschnitte”, 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Missouri, was informed that if he correctly spelled the next word, a tie would be declared. There were no more words left on the competition’s list for an additional face-off round.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MAY 28: Speller Dev Jaiswal of Jackson, Mississippi, reacts after correctly spelling his word during round seven of the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Ten spellers have advanced to the finals. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Dev Jaiswal of Jackson, Mississippi, reacts after correctly spelling his word during round seven. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

With that, Venkatachalam correctly spelled the word “nunatak”, which means a rocky ridge.

Dictionaries everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.

Ankita Vadiala of Manassas, Virginia, reacts to the word "ballabile", which she spelled correctly, during the semi-final round of the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Maryland May 28, 2015.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1EZPJ

Ankita Vadiala of Manassas, Virginia, reacts to the word “ballabile”, which she correctly spelled. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

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