Huntsville student Erin Howard is co-champ of Scripps National Spelling Bee – WBRC

Huntsville student Erin Howard is co-champ of Scripps National Spelling Bee - WBRC
8 are great: National Spelling Bee ends with octo-champs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAFF) – In a nail-biting finish after over three hours on stage, Mountain Gap P-8 student Erin Howard left the Scripps National Spelling Bee a champion.

She wasnt the only one. In a late decision, the judges declared all finalists who lasted into round 20 would be declared a winner. Erin was among the eight winners by correctly spelling erysipelas.” It was about midnight in Washington when she did it.

It was a stunning result, coming just after midnight Thursday, for the 92nd annual event, which has had six two-way ties but had never before experienced such a logjam at the top. After the 17th round, Jacques Bailly, the events pronouncer, announced that any of the eight remaining contestants who made it through three more words would share in the prize.

After the celebration, Erin talked with WAFF / Gray correspondent Alana Austin. I really cannot describe how I feel right now because I never expected to be a champion or octo-champion Howard said with a laugh. I just wanted to do better than I did last year. I just wanted to spell two words correctly in the prime time finals and I did so much more than that. Im over the moon right now.

Abhijay, who placed third in the competition last year, told CNN he typically studies for four to five hours on weekdays. But ahead of the competition, he said, I ramped it up and I studied as much as I could. Maybe an extra one or two hours, and 10 hours on the weekends — a little more, just depending on if I had any homework.

Erin says shes going to keep things cool when it comes time to celebrate. This is a lot. Im going to be doing a lot of TV in the next few days so Im just going to celebrate by chilling whenever I can. That will be my celebration.”

The words that Erin spelled during the evening session of the competition: tophet, tinaja, pallone, meerschaum, jindyworobak, zamacueca, godet, Komondor, tulisan, calembour, deixis.

The 14-year-old spelling champ tackled increasingly difficult words like deixis, meerschaum, Komondor, zamacueca, and jindyworobak.

They are: Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja.

Each of the winners will receive $50,000, a reference library from Merriam-Webster, a trip to New York City, a trip to Hollywood and more.

She is already an old pro at this. This is the fourth year in a row she has made it to the national competition

Video: Spelling Bee ends in an unprecedented 8-way tie | 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee

She advanced by winning the Alabama Spelling Bee for the fourth year in a row – every year since 2016. This year, she won the Alabama Spelling Bee with the word cogitation.

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