February 24th, 2014
02:44 PM ET

Marathon Spelling Bee Ends in a Tie

E-P-I-C.

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G.

C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N.

Two Missouri students went more than 60 rounds Saturday in a spelling bee that had to be called because organizers ran out of words.

The battle was between Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary, and Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation. It was held at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

"We didn't want to just go through the dictionary and give them more words. We feared that someone would get a word that was too easy while the other would get an extremely difficult word. We wanted to be a bit more calculated and neutral, and we wanted to give each an equal opportunity," said Mary Olive Thompson, outreach coordinator for Kansas City Public Library.

The original pool of 25 students was quickly whittled to just Sophia and Kush.

The two will go head to head again next month for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

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