Indian-American students have bagged the top seven positions for this year’s National Spelling Bee in the US. This is the 5th consecutive year an NRI has won the prestigious tournament.
The prominent Indian-American students include - Rishi Nair, 12, a Florida sixth grader took top honours and received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, Eighth grader Saketh Jonnalagadda, 14, was runner up and received a $25,000 college scholarship and Kapil Nathan, 12, from Alabama came third and received a $10,000 college scholarship.
Among the seven other finalists who were Rishi Kumar of Maryland, Pranay Varada of Texas, Samanyu Dixit of North Carolina, and Ashwin Sivakumar of Oregon.
The spelling bee has produced NRI champions for 8 consecutive years, and 13 of the past 17, a run that began in 1999. Since the last four years starting 2012 the winners of the Geographic Bee title include Rahul Nagvekar in 2012, Sathwik Karnik in 2013, Akhil Rekulapelli in 2014, and Karan Menon in 2015. These champions have received a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.