(Reuters) – Eight young super spellers all tied, and all were crowned co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in what competition officials said was a first for the event.
After a marathon session stretching into early Friday, each winner will receive a $50,000 prize and a trophy in the three-day event that started with 562 word whizzes from across the nation, U.S. territories and six other countries.
Officials say that while there have been co-champions in the past, there have never been eight.
“We’re throwing the dictionary at you, and, so far, you are showing the dictionary who’s boss,” the bee’s pronouncer, Jacques Bailly, told the eight still remaining after 18 rounds of competition.
The six boys and two girls range in age from 12 to 14 and hail from six states: Alabama, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Reporting by Lacey Johnson in Oxon, Maryland; Editing by Clarence FernandezOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.