Chicago and Seattle Winners of the 2017 South Asian Spelling Bee Announced

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Seattle Winner Pic: (Left to Right): Rahul Walia, founder of The South Asian Spelling Bee, Vithul Ravivarma, second runner-up, Cameron Keith, regional champion, and Zoe Keith, first runner-up.

CHICAGO – Continuing its quest for the best speller in the community, the 2017 South Asian Spelling Bee  traveled to Illinois and Washington this past weekend with stops in Chicago and Seattle.

With a large turnout this year as well, the Bee attracted some top talent as well as young and new spellers that competed for the coveted prizes and titles.

In the Chicago Regional, Nilla Rajan (12) of Chillicothe, Ohio was the regional champ, Snehal Choudhury (12) of Massillon, Ohio, was the first runner up, and Jashun Paluru (12) of West Lafayette, Indiana, was second runner up.

Chicago Winner Pic: (Left to Right): Rahul Walia, founder of The South Asian Spelling Bee, Jashun Paluru, second runner-up, Nilla Rajan, regional champion, and Snehal Choudhury, first runner-up.

In Seattle, Cameron Keith (11) from Longmont, Colorado was named regional champ, Zoe Keith (9) from Longmont, Colorado was first runner up, and Vithul Ravivarma (13) of Sammamish, Washington, was the second runner-up.

Seattle Winner Pic: (Left to Right): Rahul Walia, founder of The South Asian Spelling Bee, Vithul Ravivarma, second runner-up, Cameron Keith, regional champion, and Zoe Keith, first runner-up.

The event is open to children of South Asian descent up to 14 years of age. It will give South Asian children a chance to test their spelling skills in their core peer group. Interested spellers need their parent or guardian to register them online at www.southasianspellingbee.com.

Organized by Touchdown Media Inc., the South Asian Spelling Bee is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, with regionals being held in 8 locations across the United States. Apart from Chicago and Seattle, regional centers include Washington, D.C. Metro, Charlotte, Boston, New Jersey, the Bay Area, and Dallas. All events will be free to attend and open to the public. An international regional in Accra, Ghana was conducted earlier this year, from where spellers of South Asian descent will qualify for the finals.

“For the past nine years, the Bee has consistently provided a firm platform for the community to come together and hone their craft. It’s become a family activity that contributes towards the overall development of the child. We are proud to enter our Tenth consecutive year and look forward to engaging some of these wonderful spellers,” said Rahul Walia, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of Touchdown Media Inc.

The top two spellers of each regional competition will advance to the finals to be held in New Jersey in August. Champion’s grand prize of $3,000 will be awarded to the winner at the finals.

This year, the Bee is proudly powered by Kawan- the world’s most popular Roti paratha brand returns as the powered by sponsor and as always, SONY Entertainment Television Asia is the exclusive broadcast partner for the South Asian Spelling Bee and will be airing the series across 120 countries.

“Kawan is proud to return as a sponsor and we have tremendous faith in contributing towards crucial family time for the community. We look forward to getting to know the spellers and their families through this wonderful journey,” said Tim Tan, Managing Director Kawan Food.

“Year over year, the South Asian Spelling Bee has made for great programing that gels with our ethos of compete family entertainment. We are all about family values and encourage platforms such as these that highlight the talent of our community,” said Jaideep Janakiram, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia.

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