Scripps National Spelling Bee Awards 8 Winners $50,000 After 20 Rounds of Words, Twitter Reacts

Scripps National Spelling Bee Awards 8 Winners $50,000 After 20 Rounds of Words, Twitter Reacts
(L-3rd L) Abhijay Kodali (407) of Flower Mound, Texas, Sohum Sukhatankar (354) of Dallas, Texas, and Rishik Gandhasri (5) of San Jose, California, hold up the trophy with other co-champions for photographers after 20 rounds of competition and won the championship of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center May 31, 2019 in National Harbor, Maryland. The winning spellers made history with eight co-champions, the most number in the spelling event history. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eight children made history at the Scripps National Spelling Bee when they were all named winners of the annual competition on Thursday. Following 20 straight rounds of 47 accurately-spelled words, the Bee's official pronouncer Dr. Jacques Bailly called the final eight contestants standing in the 17th round co-champions.

The winners included 13-year-old Rishik Gandhasri of San Jose, California; Erin Howard, 14, of Huntsville, Alabama; Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Flower Mound, Texas; Shruthika Padhy, 13 of Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Rohan Raja, 13, of Irving, Texas, Christopher Serrao, 13, of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Dallas, Texas and Saketh Sundar, 13, of Clarksville Alabama.

The eight co-champions were the first to ever win all at the same time in the Bee's 92-year history. The eight students continued to spell words more than an hour-and-a-half past the finals' allotted time. Even spellcheck couldn't recognize some of the words the final eight managed to spell successfully—like Geeldikkop and auftaktigkeit—before the game ended

Bailly's decision to end the Bee after the 17th round despite so many remaining spellers came after the competition's organizers ran out of challenging words to throw at the teens. "We have plenty of words left on our list but will soon run out of words that would challenge you," Bailly said, referring to the final constants as the competition's "most phenomenal assemblage of super-spellers."

All of the students were awarded the Bee's grand cash prize of $50,000, and all of their names will be featured on the National Spelling Bee trophy.

Fans watching the televised competition were just as surprised by the Bee's decision to name eight winners as the spelling champions were.

While thousands took to social media to congratulate the students on their historical win, some people were shocked the organization didn't let the competition continue to the bitter end. There were others who thought the Bee was taking the easy-way-out by ending the competition after all the training students endured with the intention of being the sole winner.

The kids, on the other hand, were elated to share the National Spelling Bee title and referred to themselves as "octo-champs."

8 Co-champions at the National Spelling Bee is about the most millennial thing to happen in 2019.

— Evan VanSumeren⚾️ (@EJVanSumeren) May 31, 2019

The National Spelling Bee began on Sunday with 562 contestants ranging from a number of cities, states and countries. In addition to students from the U.S. and U.S. territories, students from the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea also participated in the competition. Spellers were all 15 or younger and had not yet graduated from the eighth grade.

See a few more reactions to the octo-champs big win below.

Did I just read that the National spelling bee ended in an 8 way tie?? I woulda tore up Ms.Denaults 3rd grade class if she tried telling us it ends in a tie.

— James Jr (@jabjr97) May 31, 2019

The National Spelling Bee finishing in an 8-way tie is everything that’s wrong with our culture today.

— Denny O'Brien (@TheDOB) May 31, 2019

Kudos to the 8 co-champions at The National Spelling Bee. First time in history. #thekidsarealright

— Maryanne D’Amato (@mdamato32) May 31, 2019

No lie - watching these 8 kids basically break the National Spelling Bee that they had to name them all co-champions is one of the coolest and most amazing things I've witnessed. #spellingbee

— Steven "Chess-mate" Good (@hadtobegoo) May 31, 2019

8 winners in the National Spelling Bee truly takes "trophy generation" to a whole new level, lol.

— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) May 31, 2019

How can anyone looking the National Spelling Bee Champions not feel immense pride as the Bee RAN OUT OF WORDS to challenge the students and crowned 8 champions.
Take a good look, America.

— Epa 'u were warned in May about mail in' Minondas (@WTEpaminondas) May 31, 2019