Published: 03rd June 2022
Indian-origin teen, Harini Logan, bags Spelling Bee Champion title once again this year
Harini is a student at a Montessori school in Austin, Texas. She defeated Vikram Raju, also a student of Indian origin, in the final round of the Spelling Bee Competition
Harini Logan, aged 14, an Indian-origin girl, has once again won the US National Spelling Bee Championship. She's been winning this competition every year since 2008, with only a brief hiatus of two years. This year, she regained her champion's title, by beating 234 children from around the US and abroad, all of whom had won local competitions.
Harini is a student of a Montessori school in Austin, Texas. She defeated Vikram Raju, also a student of Indian origin, in the final round of the Spelling Bee Competition. She will receive a prize of USD 52,000 USD, while Vikram, the runner-up, will receive a prize of USD 25,000. Vihan Sibal, another Indian-origin student, who came third, will receive a prize of USD 15,000.
It has been mentioned in a report by IANS that out of the 14 finalists who survived the three-day high-octane competition held in Washington, 11 were of Indian origin. The report also states that children of Indian origin have dominated the competition ever since Balu Natarajan won it in 1985. After that, 20 Indian-origin children have won the Spelling Bee and monopolised it.
In the year 2020, the Spelling Bee was not held because of the pandemic. And in 2021, when it resumed, an African-American girl won it. This year it was Harini once again. The final elimination round this year had the children select the correct meaning of words from a list of choices, rather than just spelling words, IANS reported.
Harini had been knocked out in this round but was subsequently reinstated when the judges ruled that her answer was also correct. She duelled seven rounds with Raju and they entered into a deadlock eventually. To break it, they went into a "spell-off" in which they had to rapidly spell correctly as many words as possible within 90 seconds. She spelt 21 words correctly, while Raju spelt 15 words correctly.
The Spelling Bee is a spelling contest, which has been held since 1925. It is sponsored by the EWScripps Media Company. The competition tests not only the rote memorisation of spellings but also the knowledge of the origin of words and their structure and usage among children.