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Weekend Express with Lynn Smith

Fast-paced look at the day's essential news and buzz-worthy stories

Epic spelling bee finally O-V-E-R

  • After more than 90 rounds, the spelling bee to end all spelling bees finally came to an end
  • Spelling bee champ Kush Sharma will now compete at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee

After 95 rounds and two weeks of intense competition, an epic spelling bee in Missouri is finally over.

The battle between super spellers 11-year-old Sophia Hoffman and 13-year-old Kush Sharma came to an end at the Kansas City Public Library. Both competed February 22 at the Jackson County Spelling Bee, going word-for-word for more than 60 rounds. Eventually, the judges ran out of words and the match was halted and resumed Saturday.

The rematch went the same way as Sharma and Hoffman went toe-to-toe, both showing their spelling prowess. Sharma, a seventh-grader, eventually won the bee after spelling "definition" correctly.

Earlier, Hoffman misspelled the word "stifling." Her parents unsuccessfully appealed to the judges, saying the pronunciation of "stifling" may have caused some confusion.

Sharma told HLN affiliate KSHB it was hard to see a friend lose. 

"In the last two weeks, we have become really good friends," Sharma said of Hoffman. "I sort of was getting pretty sad when she got that word incorrect."

Sharma's win earned him a spot in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee

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