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May 31, 2018; National Harbor, MD, USA; Karthik Nemmani from Texas spelled the word koinonia correctly to win the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. Jack Gruber-USA TODAY NETWORK
By Lacey Johnson
OXON HILL, Md. (Reuters) - Karthik Nemmani won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, correctly spelling the word "koinonia" to win the title and take home $40,000.
Nemmani, a 14-year-old from Texas, defeated a field of more than 515 spellers, aged 8 to 15, hailing from across the United States and eight other countries.
The definition of the winning word "koinonia" is: the Christian fellowship or body of believers, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
The 91st annual bee, which began on Tuesday and ends on Thursday night, was held in the Maryland suburbs of Washington with a worldwide audience tuning in for a live broadcast of the finals on ESPN.
Nemmani won the title during the finals, consisting of 16 spellers, the largest group ever included in the final broadcast round. The group is made up of nine girls and seven boys. Last year, 15 spellers advanced to that stage.
(Reporting by Lacey Johnson; Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Steve Gorman, Peter Cooney and Michael Perry)
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