Spelling Bee winner: 12-year-old Ananya Vinay from Fresno, California, has won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee held in National Harbor, Maryland in the United States of America today. Ananya correctly spelled the word ‘marocain’ to win the annual event. Ananya defeated Rohan Rajeev, another contestant of Indian origin, to win the spelling contest, according to The Guardian. Ananya is the first outright winner of the competition in three years. Last year, Nihar Janga of Texas and Jairam Hathwar of New York jointly won the title, as per a CNN report. The 12-year-old had to spell 35 words correctly to win the 90th edition of the prestigious competition. The spelling battle between Ananya and Rohan lasted for nearly 20 rounds. Rohan was out of the competition after he misspelt the word ‘marram,’ a type of coarse perennial grass.
The contestants had to spell words such as hypapante, cheiropompholyx, potichimanie, tchefuncte, brabançon and rastacouère to name a few in order to stay in the competition, as per The Guardian. Ananya after winning the competition said, ”I just focussed on the words given to me and tried to get them right. The win is like a dream come true, I am very happy right now,” according to CNN. Ananya added that it was interesting to go back and forth for so many rounds.
The organisers of the competition had introduced a written tie breaker test this year in order to have a single winner. The competition had been tied for the last three years, according to The Guardian. The winner of the competition is awarded a USD 40,000 prize and the person who comes in second is awarded USD 30,000, according to CNN. The Spelling Bee tested the contestant’s knowledge of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, as per ABC news.