Karthik Nemmani defeated 12-year-old Naysa Modi, who misspelled the word bewusstseinslage

By Lindsay Kimble
June 01, 2018 11:42 AM
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Student Spellers Compete In 2018 National Spelling Bee
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It’s pizza party time!

14-year-old Karthik Nemmani, of McKinney, Texas, won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night after correctly spelling the word, koinonia. The bee was Nemmani’s first time participating in the national finals.

Nemmani was one of 515 spellers to participate in this year’s bee, winning over Naysa Modi, 12, in the eighteenth round when she misspelled bewusstseinslage.

According to a press release, the winning word means an “intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community.”

Student Spellers Compete In 2018 National Spelling Bee

Among his prizes — which include $40,000 in cash and a trophy from Scipps and $2,500 and a reference library from Merriam-Webster — Nemmani also secured a Pizza Hut pizza party for his entire school in Texas.

Student Spellers Compete In 2018 National Spelling Bee
Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The eighth-grade champion was able to compete in the bee through the new RSVBee invitational program, which allows parents to apply for their children to compete in the national finals without a sponsor.

This year’s bee was the largest ever.