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National Spelling Bee winner Harini Logan, the finalists celebrate in DC

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Harini Logan entered the final of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night feeling the weight of previous years: counting years, his three previous failed tests, his grueling preparation for this final shot in the race before he was old. of competition.

The next morning, a 14-year-old 8th grader was dreaming about the future. He had just won a beehive after a 90-second workout, and was already preparing him for $ 50,000.

Harini said she has kept some things in college – dreaming of going to Stanford University and studying medicine and business – and hopes to learn about investing in the market. But he also wants to set up a fund “to help students in poorer areas who can’t afford bees even if they want to.”

Top winner Vikram Raju, 12, had differing opinions about his $ 25,000 prize.

He said: “I do not know what to do now because I do not know what to do with my money.

Texas Harini Logan won the National Spelling Bee in the first game

Both translators already exist. Vikram, of Aurora, Colo., Became 51st in 2019 and 21st last year. Harini, a native of San Antonio, ranked 323 places in 2018, 30th in 2019 and 31st in 2021. He saw the 2020 race being abolished due to the epidemic, and the 2021 race took place slightly.

“There are drawings of my fourth and final season,” Harini said on Friday. following a three-day race at the National Harbor. “I am lucky and happy to have my last bee on my own.”

As the winner, Harini will receive a cash prize of $ 50,000, a commemorative medal and an official competition from bees; $ 2,500 in cash and library from Merriam-Webster; and $ 400 for reference books from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vikram receives a medal of $ 25,000.

Reward is not the only reward. to At Thursday morning, the graduates learned they were going to the White House on Friday and “exploded with joy,” said Corrie Loeffler, editor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (The Biden are not at home, but “it was good,” Vikram said.) On Friday evening, there will be a party celebration, a prize ceremony and a farewell party return to the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. As usual, the festivities will end with a dance party.

Vikram Raju, 12, of Aurora, Colo., Danced outside the White House with Jacques Bailly, a beekeeper on June 3. (Video: The Washington Post)

The bee was stretched until Thursday night, to the end of the race history, between Harini and Vikram. Long-term supply was added last year, Loeffler explained, although it has not been implemented. One of the reasons, he said, was that the contestants learned “thousands of words” to ask just a few questions, so that the runner allows them “a great opportunity to show how much they have done. You have learned.”

Another part of the mind, especially for young children who are still speechless in the middle of the night: “Sometimes,” Loeffler said, “the competition has to end.”

The latter experimented with magic, he said, and he knew it was possible.

“It was close,” said Harini, who started exercising a month or two before the race. “Of course, I was a little worried, and the fact that it went down completely was absurd.”

Vikram started by punching 12 spells to start, from the “spealbone” (“shoulder bush used by witches or sorcerers”) to the “teosinte” (grass of Central and South America), ending with 15 points on 19 words tried.

Harini shot the same 12 to start, but he worked fast, reaching 26 words along with 22 correct spelling. His last seven words, which Vikram did not reach, were “chorepiscopus” (Catholic bishop) to “moorhen” (red bird).

Vikram and his family planned to stay near DC until Sunday, after seeing the Smithsonian museum, said Sandhya Ayyar’s mother. A few Colorado publishers asked about meeting him at the airport when he arrived, Ayyar said; one asked him to sign up as weather officer for the day. He thinks of it, he said.

“You know, it’s been very difficult,” Ayyar said. “She was disappointed, but I think she realized what she had found last night and was very proud.”

“This year, I do not even expect to be the last,” said Vikram, adding, “I learned my true skills from the bees. That is the most important thing the bee taught me: it taught me how to humble myself.”

Zaila Avant-garde, who won bees last year and the first African American winner of the competition, organized the tournament last year, she said, and always thought it would be fun to watch one. After a group Thursday night in Maryland, He said: “Listening to these two men was an incredible experience.

“It’s unlikely, it’s time for you to sit in your seat,” said Zaila, a 15-year-old basketball player who recently moved to the District from Louisiana. “It’s good for TV.”

Zaila Avant-garde won the 2021 National Spelling Bee, becoming her first African American champion

He also said he likes the term “nerve-racking” to be a beast different from the traditional culture, which allows readers to think and ask questions. And he was “very happy” Harini, with whom he had previously spoken at the competition.

“I was crying when he won and confetti went down,” Zaila said.

Harini praised her mother’s training for her success. His advice to other doctors? Work hard, do not let your nerves overwhelm you and make you “proud of yourself. It does not matter what you eat. You have to do your best. ”

Harini is now planning to take a break. “This will be my first summer for many years without spellings,” he said.

Vikram also vowed to return next year. He says: “I hope to be able to keep up with my responsibilities and to be first.

After all, he just finished 7th grade, then he still has another gun.

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