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Scripps National Spelling Bee Ends in (Adorable) Tie For First Time In 52 Years

Stalemate: s-t-a-i-doh!


Today in sports we care about, last night’s 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee was one for the books. For the first time since ’62, two charmingly precocious smartypants tied for first place in what co-winner Sriram Hathwar described as a “competition against the dictionary, not each other.”

14 year old Hathwar and his fellow champion Ansun Sujoe, 13, both felt the sting of the bee last night (are you reading, ESPN? this coverage is gold) when they were each buzzed for misspellings late in the tournament. Hathwar was felled by “corpsbruder,” a German word for comrade, and Sujoe fumbled “antigropelos,” meaning waterproof leggings. Both boys claimed to be familiar with the word that stumped their adversary.

The competitors’ adjacent misspellings allowed them each to continue in the tournament. Sujoe and Hathwar handled “sdrucciola,” “holluschick,” “thyemelici,” “paixtle,” “encaenia,” and “terreplein” — some of which must be made up — with aplomb.

Hathwar’s winning word was “stichomythia,” a term for the staccato dialogue representing an altercation in Greek dramatic writing, and Sujoe’s was “feuilleton,” a section of European newspapers. Before his victory round ESPN reports that Sujoe rolled his eyes and said “ah, whatever,” making him this year’s official spelling bee bad-ass.

The two competitor’s will each get their own trophy, as well as the full cash prize of $33,000. Said Hathwar, “I’m happy to share this trophy with him.” ESPN reports that both boys play reed instruments.


(via ESPN, image via erin m and Wicker Man)

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