For the third consecutive year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has crowned co-champions. One winner, 11-year-old Nihar Janga, became the youngest champion in bee history. The other, 13-year-old Jairam Hathwar, is the younger brother of 2014 co-champion, Sriram Hathwar.
After ties in 2014 and 2015, bee officials modified the rules to make things tougher with the hope of having a single champion. But Janga and Hathwar matched each word for word through 24 sets in the final round. Hathwar misspelled two words in the championship round. That gave Janga two chances to win it outright, but he stumbled each time, and they moved on to the set of words.
In the final sequence, Hathwar spelled Feldenkrais, a trademark related therapeutic body movements designed to ease tension. Janga matched him with gesellschaft, a sociological term about relationships, to create the shared title. Here's a look at Janga and Hathwar, and other recent champions and their winning words:
2016: Jairam Hathwar (co-champion)
Jairam Hathwar was sponsored by Corning Rotary Club.
2016: Nihar Janga (co-champion)
Nihar Janga was sponsored by Houston Public Media.
2015: Vanya Shivashankar (co-champion)
Shivashankar was sponsored by the Olathe News of Kansas.
2015:Gokul Venkatachalam (co-champion)
Venkatachalam was sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
2014: Ansun Sujoe (co-champion)
Ansun Sujoe was sponsored by Texas Christian University.
2014: Sriram Hathwara (co-champion)
Sriram Hathwara was sponsored by Corning Rotary Club.
2013: Arvind Mahankali
Arvind Mahankali was sponsored by the New York Daily News.
2012: Snigdha Nandipati
Snigdha Nandipati was sponsored by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
2011: Sukanya Roy
Sukanya Roy was sponsored by the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
2010: Anamika Veeramani
Anamika Veeramani was sponsored by The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.
2009: Kavya Shivashankar
Kavya Shivashankar was sponsored by the Olathe News of Kansas.
2008: Sameer Mishra
Sameer Mishra was sponsored by the Journal and Courier of Lafayette, Indiana.
2007: Evan M. O'Dorney
Evan M. O'Dorney was sponsored by the Contra Costa Times.
2006: Kerry Close
Kerry Close was sponsored by the Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune.
2005: Anurag Kashyap
Anurag Kashyap was sponsored by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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