2016 Co-champions.jpgThey did it! Nihar Janga, speller 232, spelled "gesellschaft" correctly. Jairam Hathwar, speller 152, spelled "Feldenkrais."

"It was just insane, I don't even know how to put it in words," Jairam said.

"I'm just speechless. I can't say anything. I'm only in fifth grade," Nihar said.

Jairam said if his brother had not participated, he would not be here. Earlier in the week, Jairam — who watched his brother Sriram take the 2014 championship, and is in his second bee — said it's different being in the competition. "It's more thrilling," he said. "It's nervewracking."

Jairam is the second sibling pair to win the bee. Last year, Vanya Shivashankar became the co-champion; her sister Kavya won in 2010. This is the third year in a row there have been co-champions. Before that, the last co-champion was in 1962.

"I still have to get through this level," said Nihar, before the Finals. "I'm pretty happy." Nihar said he wasn't confident in an earlier round, when many spellers were eliminated, but his confidence increased through subsequent rounds. "My goal is just to get to the top five, top three," he said. Jairam said he didn't have a goal for himself before he got to the finals. "I want to do my best," he said. "Of course, I felt happy."

The bee's records aren't entirely complete, but we do know that multiple 11-year-olds like Nihar have won the bee. The last time someone younger than 13 won was George Thampy, in 2000, and the last time a first-time speller won was Pratyush Buddiga in 2002.