A teenage boy from Texas has won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Texas, located just north of Dallas, won the annual competition Thursday night (May 31) after giving the correct spelling of koinonia, which is defined as "the Christian fellowship or body of believers" and "an intimate spiritual communion."

Karthik, an Indian-American, was considered a wildcard among the 515 contestants in the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee. His chance at glory came when fellow speller Naya Modi, also from Texas, failed to spell Bewusstseinslage, defined by Marriam-Webster as "a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components."

Without RSVBee, a new program implemented by Scripps National Spelling Bee, Karthik may not have had a chance to win the national competition at all. RSVBee is an invitational program that essentially gives spellers an additional opportunity to be invited to the national championships, despite having lost in a previous competition. Only spellers who are enrolled at a Scripps Spelling Bee associated school and who have also won their school's spelling bee, may be eligible for the program, if they still meet the age requirement.

As the winner, Karthik will receive more than $42,000 in cash and prizes. His top opponent and second place finisher is 12-year-old Naysa Modi of Frisco. Third-place finisher Abhijay Kodali lives in Flower Mound.

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