Fresno sixth-grader wins National Spelling Bee

Vinay clearly didn't know the word or understand its context, but that didn't stop the hosts from pressing on with the bad joke, allowing Vinay to ask for a definition and part of speech so she could try to spell it.

Competitors age 6 to 15 emerged from early spelling bees involving more than 11 million youths from all 50 USA states, US territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, and several countries, from Jamaica to Japan.

She finally ventured a guess, which was just barely wrong, at least according to the President's spelling of the non-word.

It was an unceasing round until Rohan misspelled the word "marram", a Scandinavian-derived word for beach grass.

Ananya and Rajeev were the last two standing of the initial 291 spellers.

"She played to win and win she did".

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

Whether or not this event is touted in the States, the US Scripp National Spelling Bee is making quite a headline today in India. Her wins breaks a streak of three straight years of co-champions.

"You can find words in interesting places", she was quoted as saying by the "USA Today".

After three straight years of ties, the bee added a tiebreaker test this year, and it looked like it might come into play as Ananya and Rohan duelled for almost 20 rounds.

Ananya told reporters said she knew every word given to her, including the final one, because it was mentioned in her social studies book. She is also the 13th consecutive Indian-American victor; 18 of the last 20 bees were won by Indian-Americans.

The bee tested participants' knowledge of Webster's Unabridged dictionary.

The stress of competing against the dictionary was etched on many spellers' faces as they took their turn at the microphone and in front of the television cameras.

  • Salvatore Jensen