OXON HILL, Md. — Eight spellers were better than the dictionary. They were better than anything the Scripps National Spelling Bee could throw at them. And they all ended up with a hand on the trophy.

In the most extraordinary ending in the 94-year history of the competition, the bee ended in an eight-way tie late Thursday night. The eight co-champions spelled the final 47 words correctly, going through five consecutive perfect rounds.

Each will get the full winner’s prize of $50,000 in cash.

The winners are: Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rojan Raja.

Maine State Spelling Bee champion Sebastian Shields, a seventh-grader at Saco Middle School, made it to the third round.


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