A record eight children have won the US National Spelling Bee after organisers ran out of difficult words to separate them.
The finalists, who are aged between 12 and 14 years old, all successfully navigated 20 rounds of increasingly obscure words to be crowned co-champions in one of America’s oldest competitions.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee has seen an increasingly competitive field in its 94-year history but organisers were stunned when several hours of spelling tests were unable to break the final eight competitors.
As the hours ran on, Jacques Bailly, the competition’s pronouncer, told the finalists: “We’re throwing the dictionary at you, and, so far, you are showing the dictionary who’s boss”.
Rishik Gandharsi, 13; Erin Howard, 14; Saketh Sundar, 13; Shruthika Padhy, 13; Sohum Sukhantankar, 13; Abhijay Kodali, 12; Christopher Serrao, 13 and Rohan Raja, 13, were eventually crowned co-champions after spelling 47 consecutive words correctly.