Four Dallas-area students advance to national spelling bee finals

Four Dallas-area students advance to national spelling bee finals

Two 12-year-old girls, one from Cherry Hill and the other from Aston, reached the finals but fell short of the top spot Thursday night at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland. But he was still good enough to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

It also now has the distinction of being the word that cost a local boy a shot at being the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

He spelt "koinonia", a Greek-origin word defined as "intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community", to win what has been described as the most challenging Spelling Bee yet with an unprecedented 516 contestants. "Nilla Rajan (bottom center) celebrates as another competitor gets her words right and Brody Dicks (bottom left) racks his brains to correctly spell 'caudation" correctly.

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As champion of the 93-year-old competition, he will receive more than $42,000 in cash and prizes.

Remmers, 12, was walking out of the hall Wednesday with her mom after misspelling the word "balaclava" when Aubrey Remmers' cellphone rang.

Finalists talk as Karthik Nemmani spells a word during the final round. They ranged in age from 11-14. The wild cards pushed the total number of spellers in the bee to 515 - there had never been more than 300 in the past - and forced Scripps to add a third day of competition.

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"I'm just going to worry about it one round at a time, and use all the information that the pronouncer gives me", she said upon being named a finalist. But because the judges didn't define the word for Reagan, they made a decision to accept her spelling after she had left the stage.

Karthik had met Naysa on the spelling stage before the Scripps Bee, though. The prime time finals featured 11 students who had previously been to the national contest. She'll be in eighth grade, which is the final school year that spellers are eligible.

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

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