For the 4th time in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, there two competitors will share the first place trophy, medal, and $30,000 and prizes. 13-year-old 7th grader from Fort Worth, Texas, Anjun Sujoe, tied veteran Sriram Hathwar, a 14-year-old 8th grader from Corning ,New York in the last round of the final when the announcer ran out of words. The annual competition took place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center outside our nation’s capital tonight. Here’s what you need to know about the winners.
— Mashable (@mashable) May 30, 2014
1. The Last Co-Champions were in 1962
This is the 4th time in history that two people shared the first place prize. The only other years this has occurred were in 1950, 1957 and 1962.
Diana Reynard and Colquitt Dean won with the word “meticulosity” in 1950.
Dana Bennett and Sandra Owen won with the word “schappe” in 1957.
Nettie Crawford and Michael Day won with the word “esquamulose” in 1962.
Click here for the full list of champions.
2. They Are Both Musically Talented
When not studying spelling, Hathwar plays the oboe and piano to keep his mind stimulated, but is also a huge sports fan, participating in tennis, basketball, ice skating and badminton.
Sujoe is plays the guitar, piano, and bassoon, along with having the ability to identify any musical note as soon as he hears it. His perfect pitch has allowed him to standout among his classmates.
3. They Both Spelled a Word Wrong
Despite their almost perfect spelling records during the competition, both contestants spelled a word wrong in the same round, allowing them both to stay alive in the competition.
Hathwar butchered the word “corpsbruder,” spelling it k-o-r-b-r-u-i-t-e-r. Sujoe followed spelling the word “antigropelos” as a-n-t-i-g-r-o-p-o-l-o-s.
4. Sujoe Didn’t Make it to the Semis Last Year
The Sujoe’s track record is less impressive than Hathwar’s, making him the underdog in the competition.
Ansun did not make it to the finals last year while Hathwar has had both a 6th place and 3rd place finish.
5. Hathwar was the Only 5-Year Repeater
Hathwar was the only participant to have competed in the competition 5 times. His first competition was in 2008 as an 8 year old. He also competed in 2009, 2011 (6th place), and 2013 when he placed 3rd overall. Needless to say, it is not a surprise that they ran out of words to trick this veteran. Watch the video above to see his interview after last year’s 3rd place finish.