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KCS Spelling Bee Crowns Co-Champs For 1st Time

Reported: Jan. 23, 2014 6:54 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 24, 2014 9:55 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - John Adams Middle School student Varun Kukkillaya and Andrew Jackson Middle School student Lauren Volk have something very special in common.

At last weekend's annual Kanawha County Spelling Bee, the pair finished tied as co-champions, the first time that's happened in the event's history.

"It was really interesting because like, first of all it had never happened before and it went on for that long. It just kept going back and forth," Kukkillaya said.

"It was pretty crazy," Volk said. "I think it made it better because it was a record instead of just being any old spelling bee like the other years."

More than 60 students started the competition, but after the first 11 rounds only two were left. That started an epic struggle in which KukkIllaya and Volk battled for more than 70 rounds until the pronouncer actually ran out of words and declared a tie.

However, during the event, both spellers missed a word. Kukkillaya misspelled dachsund.

"I was like, I'm going to lose," Kukkillaya said. "Because I figured that she had also studied the list And so, I was like, I'm definitely going to lose."

But in an unlikely twist, Volk immediately misspelled femininity, and the competition continued.

"I think I got a little excited because I thought this might be my chance to win and that was probably what contributed to me missing the word," Volk said.

After more than 80 rounds the competition ended in its first-ever tie, sending both students to the regional bee as co-champions. That event is scheduled for March 22 at Capital High School

The winner advances to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.



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