Washington: Two Indian American youngsters made history as Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoen were declared co-champions in the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest for the first time in 52 years.
"Whatever," said Sujoe, 13, a 7th grader from Fort Worth, Texas, as the seconds ticked down at the contest here. He couldn`t get the word, "feuilleton," out of his mouth, but he spelled it correctly.
Sujoe shared the trophy and a $30,000 sacholarship with Sriram Hathwar, 14, the lone repeat finalist of Painted Post, New York, His last correct spelling was "stichomythia."
The last co-champions were in 1962. Before that joint winners were declared in 1950 and 1957.
Last year`s winner, New York middle-schooler Arvind Mahankali, was the sixth Indian American in a row to take the title and a $30,000 sacholarship.
Indian Americans, who have won the championship eleven times in the last 16 years, again swept the top three spots as the did in the previous two years.