12-year-old crowned champion of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Fresno 12-year-old spells 'marocain' to win National Spelling Bee
Southern Maryland spellers swept from national level
Author

05 June, 2017

Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, spelling the word "marocain" to take home $40,000.

As each competitor waited for their opponent to slip up, the rivals had spelt words including cheiropompholyx, durchkomponiert and tchefuncte. He missed after spelling "marram" incorrectly, a word that refers to a type of coarse, perennial grass.

"It's a like a dream come true". "I am so happy right now".

More than 20 Indian-American students in 40 spellers competed in the final day of this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, reaffirming a phenomenal trend for almost a decade.

After three consecutive ties, the National Spelling Bee was determined to have a solo victor, so it added a new tiebreaker procedure for Thursday night's finals in Oxon Hill, Md. She's the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee, and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage. "I knew them all", she said. She said she felt fantastic after her victory.

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Proving her brightness, Vinay actually came really close to spelling the word correctly, guessing, "C-O-F-E-F-E".

The young girl - who, the Times noted, remained expressionless, save for a slight lift in one cheek - stood still on the stage until her father rushed up and gave her a big hug. Like most of her predecessors, she honed her craft in highly competitive national bees that are limited to Indian-Americans, the North South Foundation and the South Asian Spelling Bee, although she did not win either.

This year's favorite, Shourav Dasari, an eighth-grader from Texas, surprised the audience.

She left out the "v" - but it's not a real word anyway, so no harm done. Her mother, Lekshmi Nair, competed from 1988-1990. "That's the only good answer we've heard about that word in days".

Whether or not this event is touted in the States, the US Scripp National Spelling Bee is making quite a headline today in India.


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