Sunday, August 6th, 2017

12-Year Old Indian-American Girl Won ‘The Scripps National Spelling Bee’


ananya vinay won The Scripps National Spelling Bee

Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California on Thursday won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling the word ‘Marocain’. Vinay, 12 year old Indian American girl said “It’s like a dream come true”.  She took home $40,000 which she has decided to split with her 7-year old brother and put it in her college account.

Ananya Vinay is declared a single champion after 2013 as it has ended a tie for three consecutive years. She got the lead after 20 rounds dueling with her opponent; Rohan Rajeev who missed a simple looking but abstruse Scandinavian word ‘Marram’ meaning beach grass. She nailed two words in the row, with ‘Marocain’ meaning a type of dress fabric of ribbed crepe and won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.

ananya and rohan

Vinay participated in last year’s bee but didn’t make the top 50. As she’s now a sixth grader, she could have come back for 2 more years but now she will return only in the ceremonial role to present the trophy to the winner of next year. Whereas Rohan, a 14-year old eighth grader from Edmond, Oklahoma has competed for years with other bees and this was his 1st time on the national stage.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee

Ananya Vinay has become the 13th consecutive Indian-American, starting from Nupur Lala’s victory in 1999. Nupur’s victory was featured in the documentary ‘Spellbound’. It’s said that before Ananya and Rohan, many better known spellers got eliminated. One of them was Shourav Dasari. Shourav is believed to be a favorite as he spelled the word “mogollon” as soon as he heard it and returned to his seat. He got killed with the word “struldbrug” that is used by Jonathan Swift in his novel ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.

“I was honestly, absolutely shocked. It was stunning,” former speller Jacob Williamson said. “Shourav is one of the greatest spellers of all time and he’s probably the best speller that never won,” he added.


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