How do you spell "incredible"? Because that's the only word to describe the turn of events during Thursday night's Scripps National Spelling Bee. With eight spellers still on stage at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland, the judges basically ran out of words that this group of tweens couldn't spell.
“We do have plenty of words remaining in our list, but we’ll soon run out of words that will challenge you,” Jacques Bailly, the producer, said after 17 rounds. "We’re throwing the dictionary at you. And so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss."
"There will be no more than 25 consecutive rounds of oral spelling involving three or fewer spellers," the document reads. "At the end of a round when it is mathematically impossible for a single champion to emerge within those 25 consecutive rounds, the remaining spellers in the competition will be declared co-champions."
But they had eight spellers on stage, so they went rogue. Bailly declared that any contestant who made it through the next three rounds without a mistake would be declared a winner...and all eight did. After the kids recited their winning words, confetti fell, and the group raised the trophy together in celebration on stage.
And lest you think this was just an easy year or something, these are the spellers and the final words they knocked out of the park, according to the New York Times:
Rishik Gandhasri, 13, of San Jose, Calif.: auslaut.
Erin Howard, 14, of Huntsville, Ala.: erysipelas.
Saketh Sundar, 13, of Clarksville, Md.: bougainvillea.
Shruthika Padhy, 13, of Cherry Hill, N.J.: aiguillette.
Sohum Sukhatankar, 13, of Dallas: pendeloque.
Abhijay Kodali, 12, of Flower Mound, Tex.: palama.
Christopher Serrao, 13, of Whitehouse Station, N.J.: cernuous.
Rohan Raja, 13, of Irving, Tex: odylic.
And the best news? They don't have to split the traditional $50,000 prize: They each get $50,000.
As exciting as this moment was for the kids, it was equally as inspiring for the adults watching at home — and hilarious.
"They’re giving out spelling bee championships like Oprah gives out cars," one viewer wrote.
"straight up sobbing at the last round of this spelling bee how you doing" writer David Ehrlich said.
Meanwhile, I'll just be here never quite remembering how to spell "guarantee." Or is it "gaurantee"? "Garauntee"? Help.