San Diego eighth grader wins National Spelling Bee with 'guetapens'

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 1, 2012 4:28pm IST

Snigdha Nandipati (R), 14, of San Diego, California, holds her trophy along with family members after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland May 31, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Snigdha Nandipati (R), 14, of San Diego, California, holds her trophy along with family members after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland May 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Snigdha Nandipati, a 14-year-old eighth grader from San Diego, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling "guetapens," a French word for an ambush.

Second place went to Stuti Mishra, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Orlando, Florida, who finished in second place after misspelling "schwarmerei," a German word for excessive enthusiasm.

Arvind Mahankali, a 12-year-old seventh grader from Bayside Hills, New York, finished third for a second year in a row after failing to spell "schwannoma," a kind of nerve cell tumor.

The three were among nine finalists winnowed from 278 contestants who started the spelling contest on Wednesday.

The finalists were among the survivors of the 50 young spellers aged 10 to 14 who started Thursday's semi-final rounds and were tripped up by words including "tendenz," a literary term, and "polynee," a type of pastry.

The tense competition took place onstage at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just south of Washington.

The audience, filled with families, was tense as the young contestants haltingly spelled words well above the reading levels of their respective grades in school.

The spellers employed a range of strategies, from writing out words on the palms of their hands with their fingers to asking for a word's language of origin.

The final competition was aired live on the ESPN Sports network.

Nandipati, who reads encyclopedias for pleasure, won a $30,000 cash prize, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and a $5,000 scholarship, among other prizes.

Several spellers who had been favored to do well stumbled on Thursday.

Ten-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, the younger sister of 2009 champion Kavya Shivashankar, misspelled "pejerrey," a type of fish.

Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Virginia, the youngest participant ever to qualify for the bee, failed to make it past the preliminary round after incorrectly spelling the word "ingluvies," the crop of a bird or insect.

Jacques Bailly, the 1980 Bee champion and the official pronouncer of the Bee, read the words for contestants in the final round.

Last year's winner was 14-year-old Sukanya Roy from South Abington Township, Pennsylvania, who spelled "cymotrichous," used to describe having wavy hair.

(Reporting by Lily Kuo; editing by Greg McCune and Todd Eastham)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Films "Available For Remake"

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Cosby Show

Cosby Show

Sold-out Cosby show goes ahead amid sex assault claims  Full Article 

Latin Grammys

Latin Grammys

U.S. politics takes center stage at Latin Grammys.  Full Article 

King's 'Revival'

King's 'Revival'

Stephen King's 'Revival' debuts at No. 1 on U.S. best-seller list.  Full Article 

Return To Broadway

Return To Broadway

Glenn Close heads all-star cast in revival of 'A Delicate Balance'  Full Article 

Photo

Hollywood In China

Los Angeles mayor presses China to allow more Hollywood films  Full Article 

Trip Tips

Trip Tips

Hungary, where goose is king - and eaten - for a month.  Full Article 

Big Mac Case

Big Mac Case

NYC pays ex-fast-food worker $437,000 to settle Big Mac glass case.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage