Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam have been declared co-champions of the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee.  

By SI Wire
May 28, 2015

Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam have been declared co-champions of the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Shivashankar, 13, and Venkatachalam, 14, mark the second year in a row that the bee ended in co-winners. The two exhausted 23 of the 25 words on the championship list, ensuring the co-champions. 

In the final round, Shivashankar correctly spelled "scherenschnitte," while Venkatachalam correctly spelled "nunatak."

Cole Shafer-Ray of Oklahoma City, Okla., finished in third.

Venkatachalam, of Chesterfield, Missouri, came in third at last year's National Spelling Bee. 

Shivashankar is from Olathe, Kansas. Her sister, Kavya Shivashankar, won the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee back in 2009.

Ten spellers made the championship finals, which aired on Thursday night on ESPN.

• MCCALLUM: Life at the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee

Last year, co-winners were declared for the first time since 1962 after both Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar exhausted the list of words from the championship list.

- Molly Geary

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