The 2016 National Scripps Spelling Bee finals ended last night and just wow. For the third year running, two amazing kids tied as winners: 13 year old Jairam Pathwar of Upstate NY, and Austin Texas’ Nihar Janga who is only 11. Wow.

To clinch the number-one slot from among 285 contestants, Jairam and Nihar persevered through words like juamave, Biniou and zindiq, finally closing the deal with winning words gesellschaft (Nihar) and Feldenkrais (Jairam).

All I can think of is that Rosenkrantz and Feldenkrais are Dead, but I know that’s not right.

(Turns out it’s a method of education, like Waldorf or Montessori — two words I actually can spell. Usually.)

You have to look at all of Christopher Powers’ amazing 2016 National Spelling Bee photos on USA Today. It’s kind of a joy to see kids celebrated for their minds complete with confetti, a big trophy, and a hard-earned victory dance, the way we rarely see kids celebrated beyond athletic accomplishments.

Related: 8 of the best reading and spelling apps for older kids

The 5 National Spelling Bee finalists of 2016

The first ever 6 year old National Spelling Bee finalist, Akash Vukoti. Wow!

Scripps 2016 National Spelling Bee winners are just 13 and 11. Wow!

If you catch Bee fever, here are a few fun things to do with your own kids:

*Browse the list of spellers and get to know the kids who made it to the finals

*Be sure to check out Akash Vukoti, the first ever 6-year-old to make it to the competition.

*Take the Spelling Bee Preliminaries Sample Test and see if you could hack it. Just for fun.

*Sign up your kids for a Word Club, which gets them excited about learning new vocabulary words.

*Download out the School Spelling Bee word study list (PDF) — don’t worry, it starts easy.

*Look at the list of the winning Spelling Bee words going back to 1925. Wow, they’ve gotten harder!

*Stream Akeelah and the Bee, which my own kids love, or the wonderful documentary, Spellbound, which is just riveting.

Considering that just this past week, I was questioning why a world like trestle was on my third-grader’s spelling list, I may have to rethink that stance.

Check out the Scripps Bee YouTube channel for some great stuff, including the Spellebrity video contest winners who will be announced tonight. Also check out trivia and info including quotes from the winners at

Photos: Scripps National Spelling Bee on Flickr, via CC license.