The nationals in Oxon Hill, Md., began earlier this week with 516 spellers - an all-time high in the 93-year history of the event - and Thursday's finals started with 41.
Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, competing as an underdog.
Sixteen spellers duked it out throughout Thursday night's rounds as they faced challenging words, but Karthik showcased his mastery of language with correct spellings of "condottiere", "miarolitic" and "jagüey", among others. "Nilla Rajan (bottom center) celebrates as another competitor gets her words right and Brody Dicks (bottom left) racks his brains to correctly spell 'caudation" correctly.
In addition to the trophy, he gets more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Naysa's close friend, Jashun Paluru of West Lafayette, Indiana, finished fourth, spelling with flair and spending most of his time in between words chatting animatedly with Naysa.
Third place contestant, Abhijay Kodali, is also from Texas.
After competing in fierce local rounds, the top spellers convened in National Harbor, Maryland, for the national finals.
He said there were eight or nine words during the prime-time finals he didn't know - a rare admission for a national champion.
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Karthik also continued a longtime trend by becoming the 14th champion or co-champion of South Asian descent the bee has had in 11 consecutive years.
The massive field of spellers began competing in earnest Tuesday by taking a written test so hard that there were no ideal scores this year.
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Scripps' Spelling Bee additionally offers an interactive way to seemingly view the competition outside of ESPN.
"I didn't really think I'd be able to do it", the soft-spoken victor said.
Remmers said her daughter, a seventh-grader at Target Range School, was watching her face when she was on the phone.
Meanwhile, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and Texas forgot how to spell "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".
Yet amid the bigger Bee, returning spellers continued their dominance, even though a first-time competitor won.