bee: 21 words in 90 secs: Indian-American, 14, crowned Spell Bee champ – Times of India

HOUSTON: Harini Logan, a 14-year-old Indian-American eighth-grader from Texas, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, claiming victory in a blistering, first-of-itskind spell-off that capped a marathon duel. Harini, beat Vikram Raju, 12, a seventh grader from Denver, after she rattled off word after word in a 90-second speed round. Both students spelled so fast that the judges had to go to video to determine a winner: Harini spelled 21 out of 26 words correctly, compared with 15 out of 19 for Vikram.
It was a tense victory that came after she was briefly eliminated and then reinstated, when the judges decided that a definition she had given for the word pullulation was acceptable. It was also the first time the bee has used a spell-off since the national contest’s in- ception, in 1925, and it came after Harini and Vikram took turns spelling a series of words incorrectly, meaning a winner could not be crowned.
Harini, who was making her fourth and final eligible appearance in the bee, said winning felt “so surreal”. “This is just such a dream,” she said, holding the trophy. She also took home $50,000 cash prize. Harini managed to spell more words than over 200 other competitors at the national level, including 12 other finalists. Words in the final rounds included scyllarian, pyrrolidone, Otukian and Senijextee, reflecting how, over nearly a century of national spelling bees, the words have become increasingly esoteric.
“Harini Logan’s final winning word: moorhen. Part of speech: noun. Def: the female of the red grouse. Language of origin: Originally English,” Scripps National Spelling Bee tweeted.

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