Texas Teen wins 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee

A seven-letter word for a small waterfowl stood between Texas teenager Harini Logan and the title of National Spelling Bee Champion.

14-year-old Logan from San Antonio won the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee and a $50,000 cash prize Thursday in National Harbor, Maryland after getting the spelling correct in a final tie-breaker round, the first in for the word “moorhen” had found the 94-year history of the bee.

The Wordsmith beat 12-year-old Colorado resident Vikram Raju, who took home $25,000, in the tie-breaking round. The duo beat some of the world’s best spellers between the ages of 7 and 15 from around the world.

The show was hosted by Roots actor LeVar Burton, who made headlines this week for expressing disappointment at being passed over to host Jeopardy!

Logan’s strategy? Tapping into her zen amid pressure from American viewers.

“It was really just getting into that mindset where I could have that, just rest, where I could focus on the words instead of getting stressed,” she told Good Morning America after they coveted the one won title.

“I was a little tense and it was definitely a little difficult, but I think I just decided to focus on the words and just plow through.”

Harini Logan, 14, of San Antonio, Texas, right, and Vikram Raju, 12, of Aurora, Colorado, left.
Harini Logan, 14, of San Antonio, Texas, right, and Vikram Raju, 12, of Aurora, Colorado, left.
Harini Logan, 14, of San Antonio with the trophy after winning the 94th Annual Scripps Spelling Bee.
Logan got 22 out of 26 words right in just 90 seconds.

Participants had just 90 seconds to spell as many words as possible. They each received the same exact list of words. Raju was able to master 15 out of 19 words. That was seven fewer words than Logan’s 22 of 26 spelling attempts in the blitz round, where she raced through the spelling of words like phreatophyte, toquilla, and excimer.

“It definitely takes a lot of dedication and commitment and so much hard work, and at home my mom is sort of my coach,” Logan told GMA. “It takes a lot of dedication… and of course, a passion for the spelling bee.”

Harini Logan (L) of San Antonio, Texas, holds up the trophy and reacts with members of her family after winning the 94th Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Logan and her family celebrate their sweet win on Thursday.

The hard work paid off when Logan’s family took the stage after their All-Star was crowned champion.

Logan’s next chapter? The ambitious eighth grader told GMA that she wanted to write a book.

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