Name: Karthik Nemmani
Hometown: McKinney, Texas
Sponsor: Scoggins Middle School
Winning Word: koinonia
Karthik Nemmani, Speller 471, a Texas eighth grader, is the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee!
He spelled "koinonia" correctly, an intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community.
Karthik said he went 20 rounds toe-to-toe with Naysa Modi in their local Bee, only to be invited to the National Spelling Bee through the RSVBee program – where they would again square off on stage.
“It's pretty cool to be on stage,” he said. “It's what I've been dreaming of for years now.”
It's a lot of work, Karthik said, but worthwhile.
“I had confidence,” he said. “I wouldn't say I expected it.”
When not spelling, Karthik likes to play tennis and watch the Chicago Bulls and the Denver Broncos. He also likes robotics and is looking forward to getting some rest.
Karthik's cousin, Srivatsav Nemmani , Speller 375 also competed. Karthik said it was nice to share the experience with him.
After the trophy was presented, Karthik said he hoped to get this far.
"I had confidence, but I didn't really think it could happen," he said. "It was a dream come true."