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.
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.
With that, Venkatachalam correctly spelled the word “nunatak”, which means a rocky ridge.
DROP THE MIC. #spellingbee
— John Project for Awesome Dot Com Green (@johngreen) May 29, 2015
Dictionaries everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.