WASHINGTON – Merriam-Webster Dictionary should be named to Shivashankar-Venkatachalam English Dictionary, as two Indian-American kids blew past the competition to be declared joint winners of the 88th US National Scripps Howard Spelling Bee championships.
It marked the eighth successive year that Indian-American students have taken the title, extending a winning streak that began in 2008.
The children have now taken the title in 13 of the past 16 years, starting 1999 when Nupur Lala won the nerdy word crown.
Indian origin children Kavya Shivshankar and Gokul Venkatachalam, spelled every word thrown at them with assurance till the judges ran out of time and words and declared them joint winners.
They were the last two standing from a field of 285 finalists who came to Washington DC for the widely-followed event.
It is worth mentioning here that primarily India and Pakistan and Bangladesh are the countries that appear to have a lot of spellers. And when you look at South Asians in the South Asian spelling bee, it’s a range across those three countries, occasionally from Sri Lanka as well.
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