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Indian-American kids win spelling bee title for 8th successive year

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On Thursday 28th May 2015, at the 8th US National Scripps Howard Spelling Bee championships, two Indian-American kids Vanya Shivshankar and Gokul Venkatachalam were jointly declared winners. It marked the eighth consecutive year that Indian-American students have taken the title starting from the year 2008 onwards.

  • Starting from the year 1999, Indian-origin students have grabbed the title in the 13 of the last 16 years.
  • Vanya Shivshankar and Gokul Venkatachalam both aged 13, spelled every word directed at them  till the judges found time shortage and also words and declared both of the students  joint winners.
  • They were the last two  from 285 finalists who came to Washington DC for the famous event.
  • The Indian students dominance was such that  60 out of 285 children who came to Washington DC were of Indo-origin and 25 out of the 49 who made it to the final telecast  segment on the last day were Indian-Americans.
  • Kavya, Vanyas elder sister won the 2009 National  Spelling Bee Tournament.
  • Vanya previously competed in the 2010, 2012(tied for 10th place),2013(tied for 5th place), 2014(tied for 13th place).
  • Gokul in 2012(tied for 10th place), 2013(19th place).
  • Apart form acting,  Vanya plays tuba and piano and won the Mid-American Music Association award for Exceptional Pianist and Jazz Pianist.
  • Gokul apart from his interests in basketball, also is a fan of rap and alternative music.
  • For many years Indian-Americans have put up great challenges to their competitors and won many prestigious spelling awards in USA .

National Scripps Spelling Bee

  • It is annual spelling bee held in USA.
  • It is held during the week following the Memorial day weekend.
  • Patron is W Scripps Company.
  • Sports channel ESPN telecasts the later rounds of the championship.
  • Year of inauguration is 1925