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National Spelling Bee Ends in Tie for Second Year in a Row

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The finalists in the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee gather at center stage as children who did not advance despite spelling all their words correctly stand to the side at the Gaylord National Convention Center May 28, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — They couldn't be rattled. They couldn't be denied. Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar had worked too hard and come close too many times not to win the National Spelling Bee.

So they shared the title, making history in two different ways.

The bee hadn't ended in a tie for 52 years — until last year. Now it's happened for an unprecedented two years running.

The finalists in the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee gather at center stage as children who did not advance despite spelling all their words correctly stand to the side at the Gaylord National Convention Center May 28, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

And Vanya is the first sibling of a past champion to win. Her sister, Kavya, won in 2009.

Vanya's final word was "scherenschnitte." After being informed he'd be the co-champion if he got the next word right, Gokul didn't even bother to ask the definition before spelling "nunatak."

Gokul finished third last year.

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