Between the two, they spelt over 260 words, including 'barukhzy', 'muumuu', 'hemerocallis', 'jacamar' and 'schadenfreude' in 28 rounds with Sharma clinching the title after correctly spelling the word 'definition' in the 29th round, NBC News reported. As per his practiced routine, Sharma asked for the origin of the word, the part of speech and the definition of the word. "The speller on stage asked for the word definition," the moderator replied to Sharma as an example of the word's usage. "Kush smiled, and the judges were trying not to smile," head judge Kaite Stover told NBC News after the competition.
"Kush rips that one off like it's nothing, like we knew that he would." Hoffman's parents had appealed to the judges, believing that the pronunciation of "stifling" might have confused her. The judges reviewed a recording of the proceedings and found nothing was wrong. As Sharma spelt the word correctly, Hoffman was first to clap for her friend. He patiently gave the moderator a handshake before hurriedly going to Hoffman and hugging her. "It was a great experience and I'm happy for Kush," Hoffman said adding that she would be back next year. The duo returned to compete for the coveted title after the previous round ended in a tie with both of them getting every word right until the judges were left exhausted with words.
In February, Sharma and Hoffman competed for 66 rounds before the judges were forced to turn to the dictionary after they ran out of approved words. Once the judges saw that the kids might last all day, they decided to postpone the marathon bee so that they would not risk picking an unfair word. (PTI)