Washington, May 30 :
Two Indian American youngsters made history as Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoen were declared co-champions in the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest for the first time in 52 years.
“Whatever,” said Sujoe, 13, a 7th grader from Fort Worth, Texas, as the seconds ticked down at the contest here. He couldn’t get the word, “feuilleton,” out of his mouth, but he spelled it correctly.
Sujoe shared the trophy and a $30,000 sacholarship with Sriram Hathwar, 14, the lone repeat finalist of Painted Post, New York, His last correct spelling was “stichomythia.”
The last co-champions were in 1962. Before that joint winners were declared in 1950 and 1957.
Last year’s winner, New York middle-schooler Arvind Mahankali, was the sixth Indian American in a row to take the title and a $30,000 sacholarship.
Indian Americans, who have won the championship eleven times in the last 16 years, again swept the top three spots as the did in the previous two years.