Lux twins spell off in fierce finals of Spelling Bee

Eswar Ramamurthy, champion for the second year, spells "farfalle" as his brother Sankar waits.

Twin brothers from Lux Middle School spelled off in the final rounds of fierce competition at the annual Lincoln Public Schools Spelling Bee – with Eswar Ramamurthy (who won last year) finally victorious over his brother, Sankar Ramamurthy with the spelling of the words “investiture” and “farfalle.”

“We studied a lot and we studied together,” Eswar said.  “And yep, I was rooting for my brother, but I was also rooting for myself.”

In the final and brutal rallies between just the two sixth grade brothers – which went on for almost one hour – the two boys went through words such as inoculate and champagne, maharaja and pomade, rubicon and exemplar, catalpa and serotonin, irascibility and bosque, amalgam and ineffable, dolorous and arabesque.


The 30th annual LPS Spelling Bee featured more than three hours of ferocious spelling competition between students from across the school district in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades.  Early rounds started with perhaps gentler words such as performance and biology and bemused – but quickly progressed to the likes of vulpine and physicists and stilton.   

Round four, 13 spellers left: Then came resplendence and sudoku and jalapeno and geodesic.  Deep breathing, please. Round five: Dorsal and rabble-rouser and rotisserie.  Round six: Scoria and akimbo and gouge.  Round seven, four students remaining: Julienne and drollery.

Finally, two brothers left – almost an hour to the final victor.

Of course, as always, Spelling Bee competitors had plenty of family and friends in the audience to cheer them on – and a few encouraging words from grown-ups.

  • Don Mayhew, president of the Lincoln Board of Education: “You are part of a long and valuable tradition in our school district…I congratulate you all for having the courage to come here today and for having the work ethic to study and come here to compete.”
  • Michaela Hahn, principal of Culler Middle School, assured them that “spelling bees require talent and effort, and make you successful in life.”

The annual event is co-sponsored by LPS and the Lincoln Journal Star.

Published: February 11, 2017, Updated: February 11, 2017