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Karthik NemmaniAP Photo/Cliff Owen

 

Karthik Nemmani didn’t win his regional spelling bee. He didn’t even win his county spelling bee. But he was still good enough to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Karthik had to spell two words correctly to seal the title, which he did with ease, and the lanky, soft-spoken Texan stepped back and smiled as he was showered with confetti His winning word was “koinonia,” which means Christian fellowship or communion.

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Karthik Nemmani didn’t win his regional spelling bee. He didn’t even win his county spelling bee. But he was still good enough to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Throwing everything he had into his one shot at glory, 14-year-old Karthik outlasted better-known spellers and became the champion after a dramatically abrupt end to the competition, when 12-year-old Naysa Modi misspelled the word “Bewusstseinslage” in the first championship round.

 

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