National Spelling Bee declares two winners

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

National Spelling Bee winners
Even though participants in the National Spelling Bee can’t have graduated beyond the 8th grade, the difficulty of the words certainly go way beyond that!

The Scripps National Spelling Bee ran out of words on Thursday, leaving them no choice but to crown two winners! Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe made history, as this marked the first time the bee ended in a tie in over 50 years.

The winning words were ridiculously difficult too, as 14-year-old Hathwar correctly spelled “stichomythia” – meaning argumentative dialogue between two actors. I wonder how often someone uses that in a conversation…

As for Sujoe, the 13-year-old seventh-grader would have lost the match if he didn’t ace the absurdly off-the-wall French word “feuilleton” – meaning an entertaining featured section of a European newspaper. Listening to the pronunciation of the word, about which Sujoe could only ask questions regarding its meaning and language origins, really drives home how impressive the victory was. I mean, it literally sounds nothing at all like the spelling.

The sheer difficulty of winning the Spelling Bee’s $30,000 cash prize and engraved trophy was summed up best by Hathwar, who called the English language “brutal” for blending so many words from random cultures and foreign languages. He explained that “it was really a competition against the dictionary and not against Ansun or any of the other competitors.” Talk about a tough opponent!

Images courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee Facebook.