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21 Words In 90 Seconds – Harini Logan’s Thrilling Spelling Bee Win

21 Words In 90 Seconds – Harini Logan’s Thrilling Spelling Bee Win

21 Words In 90 Seconds - Harini Logan's Thrilling Spelling Bee Win

Young Sheldon Cooper is definitely not the only genius in Texas. 14-year-old Indian-American Harini Logan, also from Texas, made history when she won the first-ever spell-off at the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Logan went head-to-head with Vikram Raju, 12, (also of Indian origin) in the spell-off, a format that tested the contestants on how many words they could correctly spell within 90 seconds. She received a trophy and a check for $50,000 when she spelled 21 out of 26 words correctly, while Raju got 15 out of 19 words right.

The Spelling Bee had its tense moments when both the competitors failed to correctly spell two words in a row between Rounds 13 and 18, reported USA Today. This prompted the judges to choose a spell-off – a 90-second round to spell as many words as possible correctly, the report further said.

The New York Times reported that a heart-stopping moment came for Harini Logan when she was eliminated in the finals. But the judges later decided that the definition she had given for the word pullulation was acceptable.

This was the fourth and final appearance for her in the Bee, and she called the victory “surreal”, according to NYT. She is an eighth-grade student at The Montessori School of San Antonio.

Harini Logan and Vikram Raju claimed the top spots in the competition that pitted spellers ages seven to 15 from across the United States and as far away as Guam for the 94th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. This year’s competition was held at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.

As reported in CNN, because of Covid-19, the competition was canceled in 2020, a significant shake-up for what is billed the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program. (The National Spelling Bee was launched in 1925.) The Bee returned last year, but with a few changes. The event featured three rounds completed virtually, rather than in-person, with 209 contestants, down from 562 in 2019. Though still down from pre-pandemic numbers, this year began with 234 contestants, an increase from last year. Of those who started, only 12 participated in Thursday’s final competition.

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