Texas teen wins National Spelling Bee

Posted at 9:03 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 23:03:47-04

31 MAY 18 22:49 ET

    (CNN) — Karthik Nemmani from McKinney, Texas, has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

He correctly spelled "koinonia" to win the competition.

Naysa Modi incorrectly spelled "Bewusstseinslage," leaving out the second S, and finished second.

Thursday’s finals went 18 rounds.

The last two spellers were from the Dallas area.

Nemmani wins $40,000 in cash, a trophy, encyclopedias and $2,500 savings bond.

There was a cute moment in one of the early rounds when 12-year-old Simone Kaplan of Davie, Florida, missed on the spelling of "carmanole."

When she heard the correct spelling she said, in a soft voice, "OK, bye. And good luck to the rest of you."

Atman Balakrishnan, the 12-year-old son of 1985 champion Balu Natarajan, didn’t advance to the finals.

This year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee featured the largest number of competitors — 516 — in its history. They ranged in age from 8 to 15.

Contestants came from every state and a handful of other countries. Enya Hubers of Burlington, Ontario, was among the last 16 spellers.

™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.