Aiguillette, bougainvillea and pendeloque. Those are just three of the words conquered by eight new national spelling bee champions in an unprecedented finish for the annual competition.
Scripps National Spelling Bee started Thursday morning with 50 contestants, but it wasn't until right after midnight when eight young spellers split the championship, a first in the 92 years of the event. The young scholastic competitors survived 20 rounds of the toughest words to spell and pronounce, and each will take home the $50,000 cash prize and the title of co-champion.
"Champion spellers, we are in uncharted territory," spelling bee pronouncer Jacque Bailly said Thursday. "We have plenty of words remaining on our list, but will soon run out of words that can possibly challenge you -- the most phenomenal assemblage of spellers in the history of this storied competition. We have thrown the dictionary at you, and so far, you've shown the dictionary who's boss."
Social media was abuzz Thursday night with cheers for the eight spellers: Rishik Gandhasri, Erin Howard, Saketh Sundar, Shruthika Padhy, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali, Christopher Serrao and Rohan Raja.
Merrian-Webster joined in on the fun, saying in a tweet: "The Dictionary concedes and adds that it is SO. PROUD."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who attended the event, also took to Twitter to express his excitement as he watched from the crowd.
"Can't say enough how impressive they were," Pai tweeted. "Aside from their brilliance at spelling, you could tell they were rooting so hard for each other. So happy they each got a share of the glory—a truly special group."
ESPN took a break from tweeting the first game of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors to share a highlight from the event featuring one competitor's reaction when he realized he was a champion.
Others took to Twitter to try to explain their excitement over a spelling bee.
While others, still, were surprised the final round words were actually real words.
And here is the list of the final eight words of the competition.