South Florida 6th-grader makes National Spelling Bee primetime finals


Karthik Nemmani (bottom right) didn't win his regional or county spelling bee.

In three of the past four Scripps National Spelling Bees, a tie was declared for the championship after the last two competitors exhausted all the words.

Karthik Nemmani, 14, of McKinney, Texas won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday. He also spelled "haecceitas" correctly after seventh-grader Naysa Modi from Frisco, Texas, missed on the word "Bewusstseinslage" in the final round. The tension and relief on the faces of the other competitors, including Nicholas Lee, 14.

Naysa's close friend, Jashun Paluru of West Lafayette, Indiana, finished fourth, spelling with flair and spending most of his time in between words chatting animatedly with Naysa.

The third through sixth places went to Abhijay Kodali, Jashun Paluru, Navneeth Murali and Sravanth Malla.

Reagan Remmers of Missoula didn't make it to the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. But she still made a bit of history.

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It was Modi's fourth trip to the national bee; she finished seventh past year. But they also take a preliminary multiple-choice vocabulary and spelling test. Moreover, a change in how spellers were invited to this year's bee drew hundreds more spellers than in past years.

"I had confidence, but I didn't think it would really happen", he said, adding that he knew he would correctly spell the word meaning Christian fellowship or communion as soon as he heard it.

And they were calling to say that Reagan had been reinstated - only the fifth speller to be restored to the competition after an apparent misspelling in the last 20 years.

The finals began with 41 spellers, and the number slowly dwindled over five rounds, but there was never a mass exodus from the stage.

Meanwhile, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and Texas forgot how to spell "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

Simone qualified for the national bee by winning the Miami Herald's annual competition.