Harini Logan clinched the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night, becoming the first ever contestant to win in a tiebreaker.
The 14-year-old, who was reinstated earlier in the night, spelled 21 words correctly during a 90-second spell-off round, defeating Vikram Raju, 12, from Denver, Colorado, to win the trophy, per AP.
Harini, an eighth-grader from San Antonio, Texas, was eliminated from the Spelling Bee during the multiple-choice vocabulary round.
- During that round, Harini defined the word “pullulation” as the nesting of mating birds. However, Scripps said the word was a swarming of bees.
“We did a little sleuthing after you finished, which is what our job is, to make sure we’ve made the right decision,” said lead judge Mary Brooks told Logan, per AP. “We [did] a little deep dive in that word and actually the answer you gave to that word is considered correct, so we’re going to reinstate you.”
- From there, Harini and Vikram competed against each other. Logan won the lightning round to claim the trophy.