For the first time in 52 years, two spellers have been declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, shared the title after a riveting final-round duel Thursday night in which they nearly exhausted the 25 designated championship words. After they spelled a dozen words correctly in a row, they both were named champions.
Earlier, Sriram opened the door to an upset by Ansun after he misspelled "corpsbruder," a close comrade. But Ansun was unable to take the title because he got "antegropelos," which means waterproof leggings, wrong.
Sriram entered the final round as the favorite after finishing in third place last year. Ansun just missed the semifinals last year.