National Spelling Bee 2018: What does winning word 'koinonia' mean?

Courtesy Google Trends

Naysa Modi, left, of Frisco, Texas and Rohan Raja of Irving, Texas, react to the news that they have advanced to the final rounds of the 91st Scripps National Spelling Bee, May 31, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Other words that the spellers had to tackle included "soubresaut", "praxitelean", "ispaghul", and "loratadine".

In all, 19 of the 95 Bee winners have been Indian American children, an incredible 20%; and 17 of those came in the last 18 years alone. The competition was, in a word, brutal.

In the first round, almost half of the finalists misspelled their words, including several crowd favourites such as Tara Singh, a 13-year-old from Kentucky who was competing at her fifth and final national bee.

To even get to that point, the finalists had to survive almost five hours of onstage spelling that started Thursday morning.

The competition had its largest number of participants ever ― 515 ― and required eight rounds to get to the victor, USA Today reported.

The bee started with 512 spellers, who took a written exam and spelled a word on stage Tuesday, May 29.

The field was expanded to 515 spellers to accommodate the wild cards - there had never been more than 300 competitors previously - and four of the 16 prime-time finalists got in through the new program, known as "RSVBee".

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The spellers come from all over the U.S., plus one from Canada. This was her fourth national spelling bee.

When it was down to two contestants, him and 12-year-old Naysa Modi, Nemmani remained calm as Modi misspelled "Bewusstseinslage". "That's too much pressure".

The first-place prize this year includes $40,000 cash and an engraved trophy along with a trip to NY to appear on the ABC talk show Live With Kelly and Ryan.

This year's contest had the maximum number of competitors - 516. That included Naysa and Nemmani; 14-year-old Sravanth Malla of NY; 12-year-old Shruthika Padhy of New Jersey; and 12-year-old Aisha Randhawa of California.

Utah, despite its glory, can't figure out how to spell the word "beautiful".

"I had confidence, but I didn't think it would really happen", said Nemmani, an eighth-grader, adding that he knew the word as soon as he heard it.

Atman correctly spelled cantico in round two and vitascope in round three.

Despite their success, they were eliminated from the final round when judges were forced to narrow the pool of 321 spellers who had made it past Round 3 to no more than 50. His winning word was "koinonia", which means Christian fellowship or communion.

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