Indian-American Arvind Mahankali won the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee on 30th May 2013 after defeating 42 semifinalists and then 11 others, in the final round. The 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, New York, correctly spelled ‘knaidel,’ the word for a small mass of leavened dough, to win the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee. He’ll take home $30,000 in cash and prizes along with a huge cup-shaped trophy.
While Pranav Sivakumar finished second in this international level spelling competition, Sriram Hathwar (13) of Painted Post, New York, finished third, and Amber Born (14) of Marblehead, Massachusetts held the fourth position.
An aspiring physicist Arvind, who admires Albert Einstein, was joined on stage at the Washington-area hall in Oxon Hill, U.S. by his parents and younger brother. The boy’s family is originally from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is an international level test held amongst school students that tests brain power, composure and this year onwards also launched the knowledge of vocabulary. The competition has earned much popularity these days to lure students across the world.
Arvind had finished in third place in both 2011 and 2012 and both times he was eliminated on German-derived words. Interestingly, this time too, he got one German word in the finals, but made everybody spellbound with his correct spelling and pronunciation of ‘knaidel’ to claim the title.
Arvind becomes the sixth consecutive Indian-American winner. Earlier in 1999 another Indian –American Nupur Lala had won the title in 1999.