12 Year Old Indian American Wins Scripps National Spelling Bee 2017June 02, 2017 12:21
After 12 hours of picking her way along a precarious lifeline of consonants and vowels, 12-year old Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California won the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest yesterday.
The little girl took away home a USD 40,000 cash prize. To win the 25-word championship round of the spelling bee, Ananya correctly spelled the word marocain, a dress fabric made of warp of silk or rayon and a filling of other yarns.
The contest was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in suburban Washington.
After the competition, she said, “It is like a dream come true. I am so happy right now.”
Several contestants aged 6 to 15 years emerged from early spelling bees, involving more than 11 million youths from all the 50 US States, US territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, and several countries, from Jamaica to Japan.
Some spellers, in earlier rounds, tripped over words including Corriedale, toreutics, cleidoic and panettone, weeding down the field headed for the finish of the 90th national Bee, while others hung on by correctly spelling catafalque, outarde and chryselephantine.
A contestant, Maggie Sheridan (13) from Ohio exclaimed “What?!”, throwing her hands in disbelief when she learned she correctly spelled whirlicote, a type of luxurious carriage, with one second to spare. However, it was not too long, before she was foiled by the word saccharomycete, a yeast fungus, and fell out of the competition.
Another contestant Marlene Schaff (14), of Lake Forest, Illinois, was ousted for misspelling cleidoic, which means to be enclosed in a relatively impervious shell, like an egg. “I am disappointed because I was debating between two spellings,” said Schaff.
Schaff’s mother, Michele Schaff, who homeschools her two children, said she knew her daughter had a talent for spelling. She labeled the family cat with wooden letters at age 1.
Michele Schaff said, “She was communicating with sign language before she had the vocal-chord abilities to speak.”
The youngest-ever competitor, Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who turned 6 on April 22, was eliminated from the competition late on Wednesday.
New rules this year are aimed to prevent tie endings like last year, where two joint winners both got USD 40,000 cash prizes.