OXON HILL, MD. (Reuters) – Eight young super spellers beat the dictionary to be crowned co-winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in what officials said was a first since the U.S. word contest started in 1925.
After a marathon session stretching into early Friday, the contestants simply could not be separated. Each winner received a $50,000 prize and a trophy – and they coined their own word for their joint success, “octochamps.”
“We’re throwing the dictionary at you, and, so far, you are showing the dictionary who’s boss,” the bee’s pronouncer, Jacques Bailly, told the finalists.
The competition started on Tuesday with 562 word whizzes from across the nation, U.S. territories and six other countries: the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.
Officials say that while there have been co-champions in the past, there have never been eight.
The final round that started on Thursday night was televised live across the United States.
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