14-year-old wild-card entry wins National Spelling Bee

At the 91st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, 14-year-old Karthik Nemmani outlasted a record 514 other spellers on Thursday to take home the trophy in somewhat dramatic fashion.

Nemmani sealed the deal in the first championship round when 12-year-old Naysa Modi misspelled Bewusstseinslage. Nemmani went on to spell haecceitas and the winning word, koinonia, which means Christian fellowship or communion.

Nemmani was in the competition thanks to the new RSVBee rule, which expands access to champion spellers in more competitive markets like Dallas, home to both Nemmani and Modi, as well as to the third-place finisher, 11-year-old Abhijay Kodali.

In addition to the trophy, Nemmani received more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.

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