Year-old speller shines at National Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee competition is not only limited to the states of the U.S., despite being titled the US Scripp National competition, but is an open arena to kids from all over the world, at their time to shine.

Ananya will be taking home a cash prize of $40,000.

She'd spent 45 minutes and almost two dozen rounds going back and forth with 14-year-old Rohan Rajeev, of Edmond, Okla.

According to The Guardian, Vanay is the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage.

The 12-year-old from Fresno, California, showed little emotion and didn't take much time as she plowed through word after word. News agencies reported that the bee had a written tiebreaker test ready this year. When asked if she had any message for Warriors Nation following her big win, Ananya excitedly told the audience "Go Curry!" in praise of captain and star Steph Curry, 28. "I am so happy right now", she said.

New rules this year are aimed at preventing tie endings like last year's, when two joint winners both got $40,000 cash prizes.

Finally, the newly crowned champ from Fresno, Calif., gave it a go and spelled it "c-o-f-e-f.e". But late into the night Thursday, it still wasn't clear who would win. She'd like to be a doctor, scientist or a writer, and she likes reading mythology and adventure stories.

"What you see on TV is who she is in the classroom on a daily basis, but what she does day in and day out in the classroom is tremendous", he said.

They looked confident as they spelled their words through the night until Rohan looked down, shaking his head. If there is Ananya Vinay certainly knows how to spell it, as the 12-year-old speller outlasted the 15 final contestants at the end of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

For Rohan, a 14-year-old from Edmond, Oklahoma, it was his first time on the national stage. Erin Howard, a sixth-grader from Alabama, offered a plea to the judges before receiving her word.

"I like finding stories behind words, investigating them further", she said.

  • Larry Hoffman