For the Third Straight Year, Scripps National Spelling Bee Ends in a D-R-A-W
After 39 rounds, two winners came out on top.
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.
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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.
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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.
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