Vanya Shivashankar was declared co-champion of the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night (along with Gokul Venkatachalam), a clearly proud moment for her family.
After Venkatachalam correctly spelled "nunatak" to seal that the bee would have co-winners for the second year in a row, the families of both spellers gathered around as confetti fell and the champs lifted their trophy.
For the Shivashankar family, this was not an unfamiliar site. Their daughter Kavya won the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee back in 2009, so Vanya was the second Shivashankar to accomplish the feat.
Proud dad Mirle had planned ahead in the event that his family became two-time champs.
The Beefather, indeed. Congrats to both Vanya and Gokul.
- Molly Geary