- Early Friday morning, the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced an eight-way tie for the championship title.
- ESPN first broadcasted the event in 1994; over the past 25 years, contestants have spelled a variety of challenging words to earn the $50,000 prize.
- We listed the winning words from the past quarter century, along with their definitions from Merriam-Webster.
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This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee had not one, but eight champions.
Each of the winners correctly spelled their given word: auslaut, erysipelas, bougainvillea, aiguillette, pendeloque, palama, cernuous, and odylic. A mix of adjectives and nouns, the words’ definitions range from the webbing on the feet of aquatic birds (palama) to a genus of American shrubs (bougainvillea).
Since the spelling bee’s inception in 1925, winners have spelled increasingly difficult words to earn the coveted trophy and $50,000 prize. The past 25 years — broadcasted live on ESPN and ABC — include a diverse group of dictionary entries, from medical jargon to political terminology.
This year, the Bee ran out of challenging words to give contestants, ending the final round with an "unprecedented" eight-way tie: Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja. The New York Times’ Daniel Victor tweeted that the co-champions beat the dictionary.
Keep reading for a look at the winning words from the past quarter century, from "xanthosis" in 1995 to this year’s eight.
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Definition of xanthosis: (noun) yellow discoloration of the skin from abnormal causes; a virus disease of the strawberry plant characterized by crinkling and curling, yellowing and dwarfing of the leaves, and stunting of the entire plant
Definition of vivisepulture: (noun) the act or practice of burying alive
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Definition of euonym: (noun) a name well suited to the person, place, or thing named
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