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The Latest: 14-year-old Texan wins National Spelling Bee

June 1, 2018
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Naysa Modi, 12, from Frisco, Texas, reacts to spelling a word correctly during the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — The Latest on the Scripps National Spelling Bee (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Karthik spelled the word “koinonia” correctly to become the champion late Thursday. He also spelled “haecceitas” correctly after seventh-grader Naysa Modi from Frisco, Texas, missed the word “Bewusstseinslage” in the final round.

The champion of the 93-year-old competition will receive more than $42,000 in cash and prizes.

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8:30 p.m.

The 16 remaining spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee are back on stage and ready to continue spelling until a champion emerges.

That’s a record number of spellers for the prime-time finals, and it could mean a late-night finish to a longer-than-usual week. The size of this year’s bee field nearly doubled from prior years because of a new wild-card program. Four of the remaining spellers got in via wild cards.

The bee ended in a tie for three consecutive years from 2014-2016, but that almost certainly won’t happen this year because the 16 finalists all took a written tiebreaker test.

The champion of the 93-year-old competition will receive more than $42,000 in cash and prizes.

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3 p.m.

Sixteen accomplished spellers have advanced to the prime-time finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, an unusually high number after a morning session that lasted 4½ hours.

The finals began with 41 spellers, and the number slowly dwindled over five rounds, but there was never a mass exodus from the stage. At one point in the second round, 21 consecutive kids spelled their words correctly.

Three spellers who made the top 10 last year still have a chance to repeat that accomplishment: Erin Howard, Naysa Modi and Shruthika Padhy.

Tara Singh, making her fifth and final appearance in the bee, will go to the prime-time finals for the first time.

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9 a.m.

The dramatic final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee are set to begin.

Forty-one spellers advanced to Thursday’s finals out of a field of 516 — by far the largest in the 93-year history of the competition. Scripps started a wild-card program this year that created a path to nationals for spellers who didn’t win their regional bees, and some of the finalists got to the bee that way.

The past 13 champions and 18 of the last 22 have been Indian-American, and that trend could easily continue. Most of the consensus favorites in this year’s bee have Indian heritage.