National Spell Bee champion decided by blazing fast, first-ever spell-off

·Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·1 min read

Harini Logan was crowned the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion after a historic spell-off. Throughout Thursday’s finals, Logan and Vikram Raju appeared evenly matched. To expedite the game, judges decided that the best way to determine a winner was to have the first spell-off in the competition’s 94-year history.

Logan and Raju were each given 90 seconds to spell as many words as possible. Competitors were sequestered so they could not hear the spell-off word list. Whichever competitor correctly spelled a higher percentage of words would become the champion.

Raju went first and was impressive. He correctly spelled 15 words in a minute and a half. Unfortunately for him, Logan came out the gate firing and appeared to be on a different level. She correctly spelled 21 words and was crowned the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. She also took home the $50,000 cash prize and a few extra goodies from Merriam-Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica.

While many viewers complained about pace of play throughout the tournament, it appeared that the vast majority enjoyed the intensity of the spell-off. It certainly made for a heart-pounding finale, especially for the 14-year-old eighth-grader from San Antonio who won.

For more information on annual competition, visit Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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