U.S.

Scripps National Spelling Bee Crowns Co-Champions

Sriram Hathwar, 14, and Ansun Sujoe, 13, were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the first in 50 years.

Scripps National Spelling Bee Crowns Co-Champions
Scripps National Spelling Bee
SMS

"F-E-U-I-L-L-E-T-O-N ... (crowd cheers)" (Via Scripps National Spelling Bee)

For the first time in more than 50 years, two competitors were crowned champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

14-year-old Sriram Hathwar of New York and 13-year-old Ansun Sujoe of Texas were declared winners after round 22 of the Bee. (Via Scripps National Spelling Bee)

Sujoe's winning word was feuilleton — "a part of a European newspaper or magazine devoted to material designed to entertain the general reader," according to Merriam-Webster. (Via Flickr / Ol.v!er [H2vPk])

And Hathwar's winning word was stichomythia, defined by Merriam-Webster as "dialogue especially of altercation or dispute delivered by two actors in alternating lines." (Via Scripps National Spelling Bee)

NBC captured the reaction of the victors. Hathwar called the win "a dream come true," and Sujoe said he was "even happier that [he's] a co-champion."

So how's it possible for two people to be crowned champion of a seemingly limitless choice of words? Chris Cuomo of CNN's New Day explains.

"These two young men beat the dictionary ... the boys spelled so many words right, the judges just ran out. I didn't know there could be a tie in the spelling bee." (Via CNN)

Turns out there's a list of words for the competition, and if the judges run out before the competitors do, they win.

‚ÄčThe two boys outspelled more than 270 other national competitors for the title. Both will receive a $30,000 cash prize, a trophy, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond. They also get reference books from Merriam-Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica — as if they need them. (Via Scripps National Spelling Bee)