Updated 07:53 PM EDT, Fri, Jun 18, 2021

Scripps National Spelling Bee 2015 Results: Two Contestants Crowned Champions

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"Hippocrepiform," "Bruxellois," "thamakau," "sprachgefühl," "pipsissewa," and "pyrrhuloxia." It's hard enough just to get a recall of these words, let alone spell them out one letter after another. With all those silent letters, the dreadful schwa's, and the question of whether to use a single letter or double letters, it's pretty understandable why an ordinary folk, most probably, can't even get one right to save his life.

It would take one word whiz whose lexicon goes beyond the average to ace the task; or we could say two word wizards as was the case in this year's edition of the Scripps National Spelling Bee where eight-graders Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar were named co-champions, the FoxNews reports.

Now's the second consecutive year when two winners went on to share the title of National Spelling Bee champions. It follows last year's tie, the first in more than fifty years, CNN tells. The 13-year-old Vanya of Olathe, Kansas spelled "scherenschnitte" correctly, while Gokul, 14, from Chesterfield, Missouri got the word "nunatak" right for their last words in the final.

The nip and tuck affair of the two young competitors started at the 11th round when all the other finalists where already booted out by then. Gokul and Vanya had to battle it out until the 20th and final round which was also the point when the list of words in the championship rounds were all played out.

According to Mashable, Vanya's sister, Kavya, won the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee. It was an unprecedented feat in the tournament's history that two siblings were both crowned champions. Earlier this year, Vanya also won in the Lifetime reality show "Child Genius" where she took home $100,000. She loves to eat pizza, ride her bike, and go swimming. She also plays the tube and piano.

Gokul, on the other hand, is a big fan of Lebron James. He actually wore a "LeBron jersey under his button-up throughout the competition," Mashable also notes. He was also part of last year's competition where he finished third.

Meanwhile, Cole Shafer-Ray, 14, from Norman, Oklahoma, finished third behind the two champions.

The pair of super smart kids each bagged a trophy and $30,000 from Scripps, $5,000 from Words With Friends, a $2,500 savings bond from Merriam-Webster and reference books from Encyclopedia Brittanica, Mashable reports.

There were 283 paticipants who made it to this year's national bee which kicked off Tuesday. It was 11 million spellers, whose age ranges from nine to 15, during the regional bees, according to USA Today. The number was further trimmed through a series of written and oral tests from Tuesday to Thursday until the field was down to the last two standing.

Vanya, who was joining the bee for the fifth year wanted to dedicate her win to her grandmother who passed away in 2013, while the fourth-timer Gokul put in a lot of work after he decided he wanted to be like the past two champions.

Time.com cites the dominance of spellers with South Asian descent in the bee. Indian-American students took home the National Spelling Bee champion title for the last seven years.

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