Two NJ Students Become Co-Champions at the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee

Written by on June 1, 2019

Written by Hiral Patel

Two New Jersey Students Become Co-Champions at the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee

National Harbor, Md– Among eight contestants, two New Jersey students out spelled the dictionary and were announced co-champions of the 92ndScripps National Spelling Bee.

Students Shruthika Padhy of Cherry Hill and Christopher Serrao of Whitehouse Station, survived 20 rounds of spelling, including 12 of them in the evening.

As each student spelled their final words correctly, they jumped up in the air with their hands high as the audience rose to their feet each time.

Former spelling bee champion, Dr. Jacques Bailly said how it felt as if they were throwing the dictionary at the contestants and the students were showing the dictionary who was the boss.

During the last round, each student nervously let out a sigh, spelling their final word correctly. The students knew that if they got the final word correctly, then they would win the championship.

Padya, 13, an eighth grader at Rosa International Middle School finished in a tie with 10thplace last year, said she knew her final word, aiguillette and wanted to spell it correctly.

Her father described her victory as if she won millions of dollars in Deal or No Deal.

Serrao, 12, a seventh grader at Readington Middle school competing in his third spelling bee, was qualified by winning the local competition sponsored by Discover Lehigh Valley. He correctly spelled the word cernuous, a drooping plant.

Serrao was encouraged to enter the spelling bee after his sister Danielle, made it through the first two rounds on stage at the 2016 bee.

Both Padya and Serrao were joined in by two other New Jersey students in taking the grand prize.