This year’s contest was dominated by Texans, who took the top three spots. (The third-place winner was Abhijay Kodali, from Flower Mound.) “It just shows me it is a pretty competitive region over all,” a shy Karthik told “Good Morning America” in an interview Friday morning.
He will receive a prize valued at $40,000 over all, including $25,000 in cash, a reference library from Merriam-Webster and a pizza party for his school. Naysa will receive a $30,000 prize for her second-place showing.
Karthik is one of more than a dozen champions of Indian descent who have dominated the bee for the past two decades.
The youngster thanked his spelling coach and attributed his success to the encouragement of his father, Krishna Nemmani, an immigrant from Hyderabad, who was in the audience. Karthik said Thursday that he would spend his winnings on college, and that he hoped to study technology.