A seven-letter word for a small aquatic bird stood between Harini Logan of Texas and the National Spelling Bee title.
Following an 18-round tie between two strong competitors, Thursday's Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a first: a spell-off between 14-year-old Harini Logan and 12-year-old Vikram Raju.
"It was really just getting into that mindset where I could have that, just calmness, where I could focus on the words rather than getting stressed out," she said after winning the coveted title on "Good Morning America."
The runner-up, Raju, correctly spelled 15 words in the spell-off, answering slightly slower than Logan, who barely paused to breathe while confidently spelling words that most viewers had probably never heard of.
Over the past 20 years, the Bee has evolved into an event on par with the most prestigious sporting events, with contestants making significant advances in concentration and comprehension.