For the first time in 94 years National Spelling Bee ends in a dramatic spell-off

For the first time in 94 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was decided by a spell-off, Thursday, between Vikram Raju and Harini Logan.

“Vikram and Harini will each get 90 seconds,” a commentator explained. “One will be sequestered so they can't hear the words while the other has a chance to spell as many words as possible in 90 seconds…Whoever has the highest percentage after 90 seconds will be 2022 Scripps national spelling bee champion.”

Viewers were excited to finally see a spell off, as Vikram was the first competitor to take the podium. While Vikram was impressive, Harini was on a different level. After the judges tallied the scores, Vikram ended up correctly spelling 15 words and Harnini spelled 21.

Harini took home the $50,000 grand prize, and afterwards discussed the historic spell off finish.

“I was a little uneasy but I decided to take it in stride,” she said “We knew this was going to be part of the competition. If it comes up to it and really I just had to take a deep breath and tell myself I'd go out do my best and whatever happens happens.”

Video transcript

- They were changing the set to get ready for a spell-off. And that's what everyone's reacting to there. So that's never happened before in the history of the Bee.

KYLIE MAR: For the first time in 94 years, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was decided by a spell-off off Thursday between Vikram Raju and Harini Logan.

- Vikram and Harini, they're each going to get 90 seconds. One of them's going to be sequestered so they can't hear the words. While the other has a chance to spell as many words as possible in 90 seconds. Whoever has the highest percentage after 90 seconds is going to be the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

KYLIE MAR: Viewers were excited to finally see a spell-off as Vikram was the first competitor to take the podium.

- Spealbone.

VIKRAM RAJU: Spealbone. S-P-E-A-L-B-O-N-E.

[DING]

- Phreatophyte.

VIKRAM RAJU: P-H-R-E-A-T-O-P-H-Y-T-E.

[DING]

- Gaydiang. G-A-Y-D-I-A-N-G.

[DING]

KYLIE MAR: While Vikram was impressive, Harini was on a different level.

- Spealbone.

HARINI LOGAN: S-P-E-A-L-B-O-N-E.

[DING]

- Phreatophyte.

HARINI LOGAN: P-H-R-E-A-T-O-P-H-Y-T-E.

[DING]

- Gaydiang.

HARINI LOGAN: G-A-Y-D-I-A-N-G.

[DING]

- Parison.

HARINI LOGAN: P-A-R-I-S-O-N.

[DING]

- Excimer.

HARINI LOGAN: E-X-C-I-M-E-R.

[DING]

KYLIE MAR: Viewers thought the high-speed spell-off was awesome. After the judge tallied the score, Vikram ended up correctly spelling 15 words.

- Harini, you correctly spelled a total of 21 confirmed correct.

[APPLAUSE]

That means that, Harini, you are the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

- That means Harini Logan is our--

KYLIE MAR: Harini took home the $50,000 grand prize and afterwards, discussed the historic spell-off finish.

HARINI LOGAN: I was a little, I guess, uneasy, but I just decided to take it in stride. And you know, like, we knew this was going to be a part of the competition like if it comes up to it. And I think really just-- I just had to take a deep breath and tell myself that I just go out there and do my best and whatever happens, it happens.

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