So exciting! Two Spelling Bee champions have been crowned for 2016, and their names are Nihar Janga and Jairam Hathwar. Congrats on beating 282 other contestants with your smarts!
Nihar Janga, 11, of Austin, Texas, and Jairam Hathwar, 13, of Corning, New York, have been declared the winners of the 89th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee that took place on Thursday, May 26. After two days of spelling challenges and written tests, we finally know who are the best spellers in all of the land. So cool!
The spelling bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year. Nihar correctly spelled the word “gesellschaft” and Jairam correctly spelled the word “Feldenkrais.” Good spelling must run in the family. Jairam’s brother, Sriram, won the 2014 spelling championship.
Both Nihar and Jairam have big plans for their future. Nihar wants to be a neurosurgeon and cure brain disorders, his spelling bee profile says. Jairam wants to be a doctor and attend Harvard.
As the winners of the 2016 bee, Nihar and Jairam will be gifted $40,000 — a whopping $10k more than the previous years winner! Hopefully, they spend it wisely.
The winners started the bee on Tuesday, May 24, with 282 other contestants at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Slowly but surely contestants dropped, and although there were 171 left on Wednesday, a written test narrowed them down to just 45, including our winners, for Thursday.
For the past two years (2014 and 2015), there has been more than one winner crowned. Both years had two winners, and when the first pair were crowned in 2014 it was the first time in 50 years that there was more than one winner.
The 2016 bee also included a 6-year-old, Akash Vukoti, which was the first time ever a first grader ever competed. Unfortunately, Akash dropped out after misspelling a word in the third round. Bummer!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU follow along with the annual Spelling Bees? Comment below with your thoughts!