For the Third Straight Year, Scripps National Spelling Bee Ends in a D-R-A-W
After 39 rounds, two boys became joint winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was the third time in the competition's history that it ended in a tie.
Jairam Hathwar, 13, and Nihar Janga, 11, beat out 282 other contestants to be crowned co-champions.
For an hour, the two finalists competed until the judges ran out of words and a draw was called.
Janga, the youngest winner in the bee's history, brought an element of showmanship to his appearance.
After winning, he crossed his arms in an "X" — an homage to his football hero, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who makes the same gesture when he scores.
Bryant took to Twitter to say:
After his victory, he told Inside Edition: “I'm just speechless."
Good spelling runs in the family for Jairam Hathwar. His brother, Sriram, was the 2014 co-champion.
Jairam told Inside Edition: "I can't believe this is real. When my brother won I was inspired by him. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and carry that trophy."
Akash Vukoti was The Spelling Bee's youngest contestant. He could barely reach the mic.
The first grader was eliminated in a preliminary round. Inside Edition caught up with him backstage where he said: "I am really excited to be here. I am going to keep doing the Spelling Bee until I am the champion."
The winners will each receive a $40,000 cash prize.