“Koinonia,” a noun meaning a body of believers or spiritual communion, is the last word Karthik Nemmani spelled correctly to win this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Before that, the 14-year-old from McKinney correctly spelled “haecceitas” to be the last north Texan standing on stage. The word means the status of being an individual or a particular nature — in other words, individuality.
“To be on the top level, you have to really work hard and it requires a lot of perseverance and focus,” Karthik said.
North Texas is home to three of the four top finishers in last month’s bee in Washington D.C. The second- and third-place finishers were from Frisco and Flower Mound, respectively.
They’ve not only spent untold hours studying words they’ll likely never use, they’ve also received intense coaching — some from paid professionals.