Texas Teen Wins National Spelling Bee

Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani from McKinney, Texas, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday with the Greek word “koinonia.” The Scoggins Middle School student went 18 rounds against two fellow Texans in the finals to claim victory, winning $40,000 in cash, a trophy, encyclopedias, and a $2,500 savings bond. “I had confidence, but I didn’t think it would really happen,” Nemmani said after his win, according to The Dallas Morning News. Asked when he knew how to spell his winning word, he said, “When I heard it.” Twelve-year-old Naysa Modi, of Frisco, Texas, came in second place after incorrectly spelling “Bewusstseinslage.” Eleven-year-old Abhijay Kodali of Flower Mound placed third after misspelling “aalii.” This year’s spelling bee featured 516 contestants, a record for the event.