Eight tie in US spelling bee as organizers run out of challenging words
Updated : 2019-05-31 14:55:39
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 US 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, US 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. As the tension mounted, the young scholars worked out the correct order of vowels and consonants in words such as bougainvillea, a type of climbing plant; aiguillette, braided loops hanging on a military uniform shoulder; and pendeloque, a diamond or gemstone cut in a pear shape. Late on Thursday, as a handful of remaining children notched up answer after answer, officials announced a rule change: All remaining spellers at the end of Round 20 will win.