She was also Newfoundland's best young speller in 2016 - when she was just 11 years old - and earned the right to head to the Scripps Bee that year, too. The only reason Karthik made it to this year's national competition was through a wildcard program that was just instituted.
Akash participated in the bee thanks to a new rule known as "RSVBee", which opens up the competition to those who did not win in a regional or state bee. She first competed in the bee as a cherubic 9-year-old.
Karthik had to spell two words correctly to seal the title, which he did easily, and the lanky, soft-spoken Texan stepped back and smiled as he was showered with confetti.
After receiving his trophy on stage, the eighth-grader said he felt "really happy".
Nemmani will take home a trophy and $40,000 in prizes, a $25,000 cash prize, a reference library from Merriam-Webster, and trips to NY and Hollywood.
Rohan said his goal is to make it into the top-10 finalists tonight. "I guess it gave me a little more confidence".
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Barr's tweet came one day after she compared President Barack Obama's former staffer Valerie Jarrett to an ape. In the tweet Barr said Jarrett was "a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and the "Planet of the Apes ".
While kids participating in the U.S. spelling bee are spelling convoluted words like "pratincolous" at the moment, it turns out that most of us are still having a hard time spelling words like "beginning" and "probably" correctly.
The finals got off to a rocky start when Enya Hubers, 12, from Ontario, Canada misspelled "kanone".
Third place contestant, Abhijay Kodali, is also from Texas. "I wanted to watch", he said with a laugh. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) Aisha Randhawa, 12, from Corona, Calif., reacts to spelling a word correctly in the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018.
Yet amid the bigger Bee, returning spellers continued their dominance, even though a first-time competitor won.
There were a total of 516 children who qualified for the nationals this year. "She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Nemmani told The Associated Press.
She said she struggled with the "ae" because that's not normally seen in German.
As for when Karthik knew he'd win with the word koinonia?