EDISON, NJ – Sohum Sukhatankar of Dallas, TX correctly spelled the word “Dasyuridae” (a family of polyprotodont marsupials that includes the native cats, pouched mice, banded anteater, Tasmanian devil, and related forms) during the 2018 South Asian Spelling Bee finals to clinch the title of national champion and took home a cash prize of $3,000.
Abhijay Kodali from Flower Mound, TX was the National 1st Runner-Up at the Touchdown Media initiative on Aug.2, which was taped live for broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television.
The initiative was organized by multicultural advertising firm, Touchdown Media Inc. Sony Entertainment Television Asia will broadcast the initiative across the globe in over 120 countries, Kawan Foods returned as the powered by sponsor for the initiative which is now in its 11th year.
The South Asian Spelling Bee celebrated a decade of bees, which included some special guests at the finals such as 2017 South Asian Spelling Bee National Champion, Sravanth Malla and 2014 South Asian Spelling Bee National Champion, Gokul Venkatachalam.
“It fills my heart to see such talented young spellers from across the country who make us proud as a community. The initiative is unique in its reach and engagement and this year with the introduction of the SAS-Bee program we were able to give even more spellers the opportunity to win it all and raise the bar even higher. My heartiest congratulations to the winner,” said Rahul Walia, Founder.
The initiative was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in 7 regional centers across the United States. These areas included, New Jersey, DC Metro area, Dallas, Chicago, Bay Area, Charlotte, and the returning international center in Ghana.
Over 600 spellers from these centers participated from which 24 finalists took the stage at the Finals. 12 of which were through the new SAS-Bee program introduced this year.
“We are extremely happy with Sohum’s win at the Bee as it goes to show that todays South Asian kids are all rounders and highly dedicated to their craft. We produced a special section called “Meet the Spellers where the viewers will have an opportunity to get to know some of the spellers including Sohum better,” said Tim Tan, Managing Director, Kawan Food, makers of the world’s most popular Roti Paratha Brand in the world – Kawan Paratha.
“Nail Biting contest year after year and I personally was unable to get up during the bee! It’s amazing to see the pool of talent from our community and am happy for Sohum Sukhatankar’s win and excited to get to know him and some of the other spellers better in the “Meet the Speller” series airing shortly on Sony,” said Jaideep Janakiram, Head of North America, Sony Entertainment Television-Asia.
Children up to 14 years of age were eligible to participate and the contest saw spellers of even 6 years of age compete and make it past a few rounds. Registration for 2019 will open in October this year and for more information and to register your child, please visit www.SouthAsianSpellingBee.com.
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