Harini Logan wins in spell

OXON HILL, Md. — The 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a way that none of the previous 93 competitions has finished.

A spell.

The final two contestants, Vikram Raju and Harini Logan, failed to correctly spell two words in a row between rounds 13 and 18. At that time, the judges elected to institute the first spelling – 90 seconds to correctly spell as many words as possible. . The one with the most correct spelling would win the bee.

Logan – an eighth grader from Texas – correctly spelled 22 words, to Raju’s 15, to become the 2022 champion. Officially, this year’s winning word was “water hen” – a medium-sized bird defined as “the female of the black grouse”.

“So surreal, it’s such a dream,” said Logan, who is competing in his fourth national competition.

Logan, 14, barely got past the meaning of the word round on Thursday. She had heard the tragic bell after her answer for “pullulation” was rejected.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m out. This is it,’” Logan said.

However, the judges spoke during a break and ruled that the answer she gave could be correct, as it could mean “to reproduce” or “to swarm”.

Chief Justice Mary Brooks explained the decision and Logan, who minutes earlier had learned of his reversed fortunes, returned to his place on the stage.

“There were a few minutes in between that were frantic,” the San Antonio Montessori School student said.

Logan worked through the rest of the spell until his standoff with Raju, which led to the spell.

Harini Logan, 14, holds a trophy after winning the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

It was like part of Family Feud’s “Fast Money” meets the Spelling Bee. The typical questions contestants may ask the pronunciator – part of speech, etymology and definition – were not allowed. Every word had to be attempted – no skips or passes – and spelling had to hit a buzzer before the next word appeared.

“We activated the spell because it was the best chance to show the extent of preparation for these spellings,” said Bee executive director Dr. J. Michael Durnil. “Obviously they have demonstrated their deep ability for competition.”

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