WASHINGTON – Scripps National Spelling Bee co-winners Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe have been sharing the limelight since May. Monday,that included meeting President Barack Obama.
Obama congratulated the two on the win and told them to keep dreaming big.
“That was really encouraging,” Ansun,13,said.
The meeting lasted about 10 minutes,but Ansun said it was a pretty great honor.
Ansun missed “antigropelos,” meaning waterproof leggings,while Sriram missed “corpsbruder,” the term used for a close comrade.
The two admitted Obama didn’t really know what the words meant,but he only missed one word the spellers had given him.
E.W. Scripps President Rich Boehne also attended the meet and greet.
“It was fantastic. I don’t know if they realize what an incredible thrill it is to walk into the Oval Office,meet the president of the United States.” Boehne said. “They’ll look back on this day for many,many years and just marvel at how special it was.”
After both had misspelled words in the final round,the two went on error free and eventually claimed the title together. Sriram’s winning word was “stichomythia,” a dialogue with alternating lines. Ansun won with “feuilleton,” a part of a European publication dedicated to feature pieces.
Though the two share the title,each got the full set of first-place prizes: $30,000,a $2,500 savings bond,reference library from Merriam-Webster and reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica.
Reach reporter Kara Mason at [email protected] or 202-408-1492. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.