Fifth grader Nihar Janga has learned from Ricky Bobby: If you're not first, you're last.
He took that competitive spirit to the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night. In a heated battle with Jairam Hathwar, Janga trolled his opponent after he stumbled over the word, "drahthaar."
Nihar and Jairam survived 25 rounds, including one round where they each misspelled back-to-back (the dreaded drahthaar round for Hathwar). They ended up being co-champs, with Jairam winning on "Feldenkrais" and Nihar on "gesellschafter."
When Nihar crushed his last word, he threw up an X in celebration. He also totally shunned Jairam's attempt at a high five.
GESELLSCHAFT!!!! That Nihar celebration dance pic.twitter.com/S0fy61kIzq
— Silvia Killingsworth (@silviakillings) May 27, 2016
Despite his questionable sportsmanship, Nihar won over the crowd at the end of ESPN's coverage with one of the cuter victory speeches you will ever see:
Nihar earned recognition from a fellow flamboyant superstar, Dez Bryant, who also celebrates with the X. He offered Nihar tickets to a Cowboys game.
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) May 27, 2016
This is the third straight year the Spelling Bee has ended with co-champions. The Spelling Bee announced in April it would use harder words in the final rounds to avoid ending with co-champions, but that change didn't make a difference.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.