Jimmy Kimmel Challenges 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion – and It Doesn't Go Well

Credit: ABC

For 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion Karthik Nemmani, his path to greatness was paved out over the course of many months and hundreds of rounds of spelling. Now that he holds the title, there's only one challenge left for him to overcome: besting ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel at his own "Jimmy Kimmel Live Spelling Bee." Let's just say that as "boss battles" go, 14-year-old Nemmani didn't need to break a sweat.

Kimmel has been a major advocate for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which has aired on the ESPN network for the past 25 years (both ABC and ESPN are part of the The Disney Company), and traditionally "challenges" the year's winner to his own competition. What makes Kimmel's competition different from Scripps's? About a million things — including Kimmel sidekick Guillermo dressed as a bumblebee and purposefully mispronouncing words.

jimmy kimmel 2018 spelling bee
Credit: ABC

Kimmel never stood a chance, with Nemmani breezing through pronunciations like "ren-des-bos-ay" for "rendezvous" and "soob-tlay" for "subtle" to walk away with the trophy:

To see Nemmani nail "koinonia" — and the title of 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion — check out the video of the final rounds of competition below:

2018 spelling bee facts figures

In case you were wondering, here's what Nemmani — as well as all the spellers and champion school — receive from the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee:

All spellers receive:

● One-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online

● The Samuel Lewis Sugarman Award — a 2018 United States Mint Proof Set

● One-year membership to Britannica Online Premium

All Finalists receive:

● Scripps National Spelling Bee medal

● $500 gift card (spellers eliminated Rounds 4 through 6)

● $2000 (spellers eliminated in Round 7 through to 7th Place)

● 6th Place – $2500 / 5th Place – $5000 / 4th Place – $10000 / 3rd Place – $20000 / 2nd Place – $30000

For the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion:

● $40000 cash prize from Scripps National Spelling Bee

● Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy

● $2500 cash prize and complete reference library from Merrian-Webster

● $400 of reference works and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium from Encyclopedia Britannica

● A trip to New York City to appear on ABC's Live with Kelly and Ryan

● A trip to Hollywood to appear on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!

For the Champion's School and Sponsor:

● Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved plaques

● A pizza party sponsored by Pizza Hut

Entertainment Weekly

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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