The 14-year-old spelt 21 words correctly during a 90-second spell-off beating Vikram Raju, 12, of Denver by six.

Harini Logan holds the trophy with her family after winning the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Harini Logan holds the trophy with her family after winning the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Reuters)

Harini Logan of San Antonio won the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee after a first-ever "spell-off" was required for a champion to emerge in the extremely close competition.

Logan, 14, beat Vikram Raju, 12, of Denver on Thursday after their neck-and-neck competition required a "spell-off" to decide the winner, a first in the history of the Bee. 

Takes home $50,000 from Scripps, plus further money prizes and reference works from Merriam-Webster and Encyclopedia Britannica.

The second-place prize is $25,000.

Logan and Raju claimed the top spots in the competition that pitted spellers ages 7-15 from across the United States and as far away as Guam for the 94th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

This year's competition was held at National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

In the spell-off, each competitor had 90 seconds to spell as many words correctly as possible. Raju went first and spelled 15 words correctly of the 19 he attempted.

Logan, who waited for her turn in a sound-proof area, emerged to spell 21 words correctly of the 26 she attempted.

Both had the same list of words read to them, ringing a bell to signal they were ready to advance to the next word.

Harini Logan, 14, from San Antonio, Texas, receives the trophy from Scripps CEO Adam Symson.
Harini Logan, 14, from San Antonio, Texas, receives the trophy from Scripps CEO Adam Symson. (Reuters)

Most Bee contestants were middle-school age and all were required to test negative for Covid-19 to participate and were masked onstage except when actively competing.

Logan is an eighth-grade student at The Montessori School of San Antonio. She loves creative writing and plans to publish a book in high school. 

When she's not spelling, she plays piano, recorder and is learning the ukulele.

This was her fourth and final year as a Bee contender.

Competitors this year included 105 girls, 128 boys, and one speller who identifies as non-binary.

READ MORE: ‘Super Bad’: why picky children eat based on what they don’t like

Source: Reuters