A 14-year-old Indian-American boy, Karthik Nemmani, , won the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking home around USD 42,500 in cash and prizes after correctly spelling 'koinonia' to become the 14th consecutive champion from the community. The Indian-American boy received USD 40,000 and a trophy from the Scripps Bee, a USD 2,500 cash prize (and a complete reference library) from Merriam-Webster, trips to New York and Hollywood as part of a media tour, and a pizza party for their school.
An eighth-grader from McKinney, Texas, Karthik won the spelling competition after numerous rounds against Naysa Modi, another Indian-American student, underscoring the overwhelming dominance of Indian-Americans in the competition.
"I had confidence," he said. "I wouldn't say I expected it. It was a dream come true."
When not spelling, Karthik likes to play tennis and watch the Chicago Bulls and the Denver Broncos. He also likes robotics.
The National Bee is a high-profile, high-pressure endurance test and spellers spend months preparing for it. The 16 finalists, including nine girls and seven boys were ranged in age bracket of 11-14 years. The spellers mostly came from all over the US, plus one from Canada, and several had also appeared at the national bee in previous years.