The 87th Scripps National Spelling Bee began on May 27 this year, with 281 spellers competing for the top prize. Ansun Sujoe, 13, and Sriram Hathwar, 14, who had both been at the Bee before (Sriram took 3rd place last year), were determined to do their best. Round after round, they didn't misspell a single word.
When the finals came around, there were only ten other children left. One by one each child got a word wrong and was eliminated, but Ansun and Sriram continued to spell their words correctly. Finally, just 4 boys were left, then 3, then only Ansun and Sriram. The two boys kept spelling, getting each word right, until Sriram stumbled on the word “corpsbruder”.
Ansun had a chance to win the spelling bee! He got the word “antigropelos” and began to spell... ding! Wrong! Now both boys were back in the running. They spelled some of the hardest words in the dictionary and got every one right. Finally the announcer ran out of words to spell. Ansun got the last one, ”feuilleton”. If he spelled it correctly, both boys would win and there would be co-champions for the first time in over 50 years! As his time ticked away, Ansun spelled his last word... F-E-U-I-L-L-E-T-O-N! Ansun and Sriram had tied! The two boys each received trophies and over $33,000 in prizes. The boys were thrilled... and didn't mind sharing the championship!