AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – A student from an Aurora school nearly surpassed all 233 fellow competitors on his way through the final rounds of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

On his third attempt at taking home the national title, seventh-grader Vikram Raju of Aurora Quest K-8 came as close to being the top speller as he ever has, claiming second place.

He did so by going toe-to-toe with the Harini Logan of San Antonio for several rounds. They eventually had to enter a “spell off,” which is a “speed run” spelling bee used to wrap up the competition once it passes its normal final rounds.

Harini Logan, 14, from San Antonio, Texas, competes during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In previous efforts, Vikram had taken home both 51st place in 2019 and 21st place in 2021. The competition was held in National Harbor, Maryland, the winner of which was awarded a $50,000 cash prize.

Aside from excelling in phonics, Vikram loves to play the piano and basketball. Beyond that, he carries an extreme interest in geography and both medical and health science. He is also a lover of the outdoors and keeping the environment preserved for all generations going forward.

Vikram Raju, 12, from Aurora, Colo., competes during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Vikram Raju’s words for each round

  • Round 1 – Seneschal
  • Round 2 – Probative
  • Round 3 – Periphrasis
  • Round 4 – Haikai
  • Round 5 – Rousseauism
  • Round 6 – Sisyphean
  • Round 7 – Golilla
  • Round 8 – Cytisine
  • Round 9 – Dreadnought
  • Round 10 – Dasypodid
  • Round 11 – Congener
  • Round 12 – Opisometer
  • Round 13 – Coracidium
  • Round 14 – Senijextee (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)
  • Round 15 – Caul (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her second word)
  • Round 16 – Otukian (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)
  • Round 17 – Pyrrolidone (spelled incorrectly; still advanced after Harini missed her word)

After the 17th round, the judges moved the competition to a speed round.

Each contestant was given one-and-a-half minutes to spell as many words correctly as possible and Vikram went first. Then Harini came through with a commanding display during her 90-second timeframe.

After the judges deliberated, they confirmed that Vikram correctly spelled 15 words, whereas Harini correctly spelled 21, leading to her being crowned champion for 2022.

Nonetheless, Aurora’s Vikram has declared his intent on returning next year, and if his upward trend continues, we may just see him wearing the title in 2023.