Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Sixth-grader wins National Spelling Bee

Vinay won $40,000 in cash, a $2,500 savings bond and a large collection of reference books, NPR reported. Despite qualifying for the National Spelling Bee in 2015, she was unable to attend as she didn't have a sponsor who could help pony up the costs of attending the event that's on the other side of the country from her small California town.

"It's like a dream come true".

Still holding the trophy, the Golden State Warriors fan wished her team good luck in the ongoing National Basketball Association finals.

The rivals had correctly spelled words including cheiropompholyx, durchkomponiert and tchefuncte as each waited for the other to slip up. She was put to the test by her 14-year-old opponent Rohan Rajeev, who managed to hold on for almost 20 rounds until he misspelled a Scandinavian-derived word "marram", which refers to a coarse European grass found on coastal dunes.

Ananya Vinay is the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee victor after correctly spelling the word marocain after the 20th championship round.

New rules this year are aimed to prevent tie endings like last year, where two joint winners both got United States dollars 40,000 cash prizes. It ended in a tie for three consecutive years.

Fifteen aspiring spelling bee champions filled the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland on Thursday after advancing to the final round of the annual competition.

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And the 12-year-old victor was so confident that she wrote her winner's speech before she even showed up for the competition. Marram is a type of beach grass and the word is derived from Scandinavian. "She played to win and win she did.

Bee officials planned to administer a Tiebreaker Test to all spellers in the competition at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Thursday.

Each word spelled correctly is worth 3 points, and the rest of the score is determined by a written vocabulary and spelling test in round one.

Vinay is the first female to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee outright since Snigdha Nandipati won the bee in 2012.

Four spellers remain in the Scripps National Spelling Bee almost two hours after the primetime finals began.

Ananya and Rajeev were the last two standing of the initial 291 spellers. Ananya after winning the competition said, "I just focussed on the words given to me and tried to get them right".

Similarly, the competition was full of rapidly swinging emotions. Erin Howard, a sixth-grader from Alabama, offered a plea to the judges before receiving her word.

"I'm sorry, did you misunderstand my request?" she said. "So you better hope you get one that you're sure of". Take our quiz and find out.

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