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Indian American Karthik Nemmani is the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner

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Karthik Nemmani
Karthik Nemmani (Photo by Roshan Varghese)

11th year in a row an Indian American has emerged victorious in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The Streak continues for another year. An Indian American speller has now won the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the 11th straight year.

Karthik Nemmani, 14, an eighth grader at Scoggins Middle School of McKinney, Texas, has won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee. His winning word was “koinonia”.

Also Read: 11 Indian Americans in the Spelling Bee primetime Final

Nemmani was all smiles after winning the Bee. When asked when he knew he won the competition, he responded “When I heard it [the word]”. He thanked his parents and his coach, stating that “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her [his coach]”.

Spelling Bee veteran, Nayasa Modi, 11, a seventh grader from Texas, finished second. She was stumped by the word “Bewusstseinslage,” which she spelled “bewustsseinslage.” Nemmani however, seemed to know the word, nodding along to every letter Modi spit, shaking his head once he knew she spelled it incorrectly.

Nemmani will walk away with a cash prize of $40,000 and a trophy from SNSB, a $2,500 cash prize and complete reference library from Merriam-Webster, a trip to New York City to appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan, a trip to Hollywood to appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and a pizza party for his school sponsored by Pizza Hut and Book It!

Eleven-year-old Abhijay Kodali, the youngest speller of the evening, finished third. He was eliminated after misspelling “aalii.”

The commencement of round 11 saw 7 spellers, all of whom were Indian American. 11 of the 16 finalists tonight were Indian American.

Also Read: More than half the Spelling Bee finalists are Indian Americans

The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee was held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland from May 29-31.

Timeline of  Scripps National Spelling Bee Final

10:43 PM

An Indian American speller has now won the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the past 11 years straight.

10:42 PM

Karthik Nemmani is the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner after correctly spelling the word “koinonia”.

10:40 PM

If he spells his next word correctly he will become the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner.

Nemmani spells his word correctly.

Modi is stumped by incredibly tough word, “Bewusstseinslage” (bewustsseinslage). Nemmani seemed to know it however, nodding his head to each letter Modi spit.

10:37 PM

No more than 25 rounds remaining, as the final two spellers Modi and Nemmani battle it out.

10:34 PM

Round 16 was brutal for spellers, producing two eliminations.

10:33 PM

Kodali, the youngest speller in the Finals, is eliminated, leaving only two spellers left.

10:32 PM

Nemmani spells the word “condottiere” correctly to advance to the next round.

10:31 PM

Modi spells her word correctly to advance to the next round.

10:30 PM

Paluru, who looked to be a favorite to win the competition, is eliminated after incorrectly spelling the word “philonium” (phelonium)

10:29 PM

Kodali correctly spells his word to cap off another perfect round.

10:27 PM

Nemmani spells his word correctly to advance.

Modi spells the word “pareidolia” correctly to advance to the next round.

10:23 PM

Paluru correctly spells the word ephyra to advance.

Kodali spells his word correctly to cap off round 14.

10:21 PM

Nemmani correctly spells the word cendre to advance to the next round.

10:20 PM

Modi correctly spells the word lochetic to advance.

10:19 PM
Murali becomes the first elimination in awhile after incorrectly spelling the word “gelinotte” (gelenotte).
10:18 PM
Paluru correctly spells the word ecchymosis to kick off round 14.

10:16 PM
Kodali correctly spells his word to cap off a perfect round from all the spellers.

10:14 PM

Nemmani correctly spells the word “ankyloglossia” to advance.

10:12 PM

Modi correctly spells her word to advance.

Murali spells the word “amadelphous” correctly to advance.

10:10 PM

Paluru is a walking dictionary at this point, correctly spelling the past few words with little to no information needed.

Kodali correctly spells his word to advance.

10:08 PM

Nemmani spells the word “grognard” correctly to advance to the next round

10:06 PM

Modi correctly spells the word “ochronosis” to advance.

10:04 PM

Malla is eliminated after incorrectly spelling the word “cento”.

10:01 PM

Malla says the quick-thinking that’s required in spelling bees helped him in playing the saxophone.

10:00 PM

Murali correctly spells his word to advance to the next round.

9:59 PM

In a matter of seconds Paluru spells his word correctly, not needing any additional information on the word “ooporphyrin”.

9:55 PM

Kodali correctly spells his word as round 11 comes to an end, leaving just 6 spellers left, all of whom are Indian American.

9:52 PM

Nemmani correctly spells the word “passus” to advance to the next round.

9:50 PM

Modi correctly spells the word “videlicet” to advance.

Modi uses her experience as a stand-up comedian to help her as a speller on stage.

9:48 PM

Malla correctly spells the word cointise to advance to the next round.

9:44 PM

Paluru correctly spells the word “lanugo” to advance.

9:42 PM

The elimination of Hamrick ensures the Indian American spelling bee win streak will survive another year.

Paul Hamrick is eliminated after incorrectly spelling the word “fourrier” (fourier).

9:41 PM

Randhawa is eliminated after incorrectly spelling the word “perduellion” (perduelion)

9:40 PM

Round 11 will commence shortly, as only 8 spellers remain – 7 of whom are Indian American.

9:36 PM

Almost as if he was inspired by the lyrics, the youngest speller, Kodali correctly spells his word.

9:35 PM

Loudest applause of the night so far goes to Dr. Bailly after using Taylor Swift lyrics in his sentence to describe the word.

9:33 PM

Nemmani, seemingly stumped, breathes a sigh of relief after correctly spelling the word “shamir”.

9:31 PM

Modi correctly spells the word “lophophytosis” to advance.

9:30 PM

All but one of the remaining spellers is from the Indian American community.

Malla correctly spells his word to advance.

9:29 PM

Murali correctly spells the word calando to advance to the next round.

9:24 PM

Paluru advances to the next round after correctly spelling his word.

9:23 PM

Jashun Paluru roasts his twin brother on live television, saying “he’s pretty bad at tic tac toe”.

9:21 PM

Howard is eliminated after incorrectly spelling the word “funest”.

9:19 PM

Paul Hamrick causes loud applause after spelling his word correctly.

9:18 PM

Randhawa correctly spells the word “gnomonics” to advance to the next round.

9:15 PM

Round 10 will commence shortly, as only 9 of the original 16 finalists remain.

9:13 PM

Abhijay Kodali advances after correctly spelling his first word.

9:12 PM

At 11 years old, Abhijay Kodali is the youngest speller in this year’s primetime Finals.

Karthik Nemmani correctly spells his first word.

9:10 PM

Rohan Raja is eliminated after incorrectly spelling “loratadine” (laratidine).

9:08 PM

Naysa Modi, who tied for 7th place with Shruthika Padhy in last year’s Bee, correctly spells her first word.

9:07 PM

Phoebe Smith is eliminated after incorrectly spelling her first word.

9:04 PM

Sravantha Malla advances after correctly spelling his first word

9:02 PM

Shruthika Padhy, who tied for 7th in last year’s Bee, is eliminated after incorrectly spelling “paillasson”.

9:00 PM

Naveenth Murali correctly spells his first word to advance.

8:59 PM

Navneeth Murali cracks the crowd up after saying “what?” in response to Dr. Bailly saying “shall we?”

8:56 PM

Tara Singh, who finished 18th in last year’s Bee, is comforted by her friends after being eliminated.

8:54 PM

Jashun Paluru spells his first word correctly with little additional information needed.

8:52 PM

Indian American Tara Singh incorrectly spells “vinhatico” (vignatico).

8:47 PM

First time Scripps speller Anisha Rao is eliminated after incorrectly spelling “pavillon” (pavillant).

8:42 PM

Paul Hamrick advances after correctly spelling his first word.

8:40 PM

Simone Kaplan is out after incorrectly spelling “carmagnole” (carmagnol).

8:36 PM

The first Indian American speller Aisha Randhawa spells her first word right.

8:34 PM

The first speller, Enya Hubers, is out after incorrectly spelling “kanone” (kanona).

8:31 PM 

The primetime Finals of the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee are two minutes away from commencing. All 16 finalists are sitting on stage.


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