The finals for the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee were held May 29, in National Harbor, Maryland. Ansun Sujoe, 13, from Bethesda Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, and Sriram Hathwar, 14, from Alternative School for Math and Science in Corning, N.Y., were co-champions, the first since 1962. Sujoe and Hathwar became co-champions when they exhausted the word list, although each had a winning word. For Sujoe, the word was stichomythia, and for Hathwar, the word was feuilleton. This was the fifth year that Hathwar has appeared in the spelling bee and the second year for Sujoe.
Altogether, 281 spellers from 50 U.S. states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe, as well as other countries in the world, came to compete in the spelling bee. This year also saw the youngest competitor: Hussain A. Godhrawala, from Barnwell Primary School in Barnwell, South Carolina, is 8 years old. The average age for competitors ranges between 12 and 14.
Sujoe and Hathwar won a $30,000 cash prize from Scripps, a $2,500 bond and complete reference library from Merriam-Webster, and $1,200 worth of reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica. Their schools and sponsors each won a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home. The finalists and semifinalists each won a medal and cash prize; all spellers received Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, and a one-year membership to Britannica Online Premium, among other prizes.
Do you think you can match wits with the national champions? Test your spelling on the Scripps web page.