Scripps National Spelling Bee Ends In Tie: Nihar Janga And Jairum Hathwar : The Two-Way The spellers made it through 25 championship rounds to be named co-winners. Nihar Saireddy Janga was among the youngest in the finals; Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar follows his brother, a 2014 co-champ.
NPR logo Another Year, Another Impasse As 2 Win Scripps National Spelling Bee

Another Year, Another Impasse As 2 Win Scripps National Spelling Bee

Nihar Janga, 11, of Texas, left, and Jairam Hathwar, 13, of New York, celebrate Thursday in National Harbor, Md., after being named co-champions in the 2016 National Spelling Bee. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Nihar Janga, 11, of Texas, left, and Jairam Hathwar, 13, of New York, celebrate Thursday in National Harbor, Md., after being named co-champions in the 2016 National Spelling Bee.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

At the end of the night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was out of words — and so was Nihar Saireddy Janga, co-winner with Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar and the youngest speller to make the top 10.

"I'm just speechless," he said. "I can't say anything, I'm only in fifth grade."

It's the third straight year the bee has had two winners.

Janga, 11, of Austin, Texas, was one of the youngest spellers in the top 10. He nearly won outright twice in the championship rounds following errors by Hathwar, but each time flubbed a single letter. An audience favorite, he often verified definitions of obscure words with the judges — "is that an Irish prime minister?" — rather than requesting them.

Hathwar, 13, of Corning, N.Y., follows in the footsteps of his brother Sriram, who competed in the national bee five times, and was one of two winners in 2014.

The winning words were Feldenkrais — a physical education system — for Hathwar and gesellschaft — a type of social association — for Janga.

The 10 finalists coming into the night ranged in age from 11 to 14. It was the first time four of them, including Janga, had been in the event. Five have competed once before, including Hathwar, and one had participated twice before.

Finalist Jairam Hathwar, 13, of Painted Post, N.Y., spells a word on Thursday morning. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

They hailed from California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. (Search for spellers in your state on the bee's website.)

The grandfather of finalist Cooper Komatsu competed in 1955.

The spellers who made it into the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee gather on stage in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The spellers who made it into the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee gather on stage in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

They love Scrabble and food and math. They're boy scouts and dancers. They want to be neurosurgeons and learn how to play the ukulele.

Click on their bios to learn more:

No. 13: Cooper Komatsu

No. 16: Snehaa Ganesh Kumar

No. 20: Rutvik M. Gandhasri

No. 30: Sylvie Lamontagne

No. 38: Sreeniketh A. Vogoti

No. 74: Jashun Paluru

No. 114: Mitchell A. Robson

No. 152: Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar

No. 229: Smrithi Upadhyayula

No. 232: Nihar Saireddy Janga