12-year-old Indian-American girl wins national Spelling Bee, defeating another Indian-American

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Ananya Vinay (Photo courtesy: Bee Week and National Spelling Bee)

Washington– A 12-year-old Indian-American girl from California has won the 90th National Spelling Bee, defeating another Indian-American.

Ananya Vinay and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round on Thursday night at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Centre in Maryland, according to media reports.

Ananya won on the word “marocain”, a fabric.

Ananya Vinay (Photo courtesy: National Bee and Bee Week)

According to her bio, Ananya loves to read and in her free time she imagines stories. “I’m so happy right now,” she said after her victory.

The two were among the brightest and best young spellers gathered for Thursday’s finals, a marathon event that stretched late into the night, according to organisers.

Among the other words young participants were asked to spell were: pterygoideus, mollienisia, cinerarium and hesychast.

On Thursday morning, 40 finalists sat on stage in a ballroom,.

The winner is entitled to a $40,000 cash prize, a trophy and other awards, including a $2,500 US savings bond from Merriam-Webster as well as trips to New York and California for televised appearances.

When Bee Week asked: What’s it like to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Vinay responded:  “It’s like a dream come true, I’m so happy right now. It was interesting to go back and forth for so many rounds.”

Vinay likes to volunteer because she likes to help people. She’d like to be a doctor, scientist or a writer, and she likes reading mythology and adventure stories, according to Bee Week.

“I like finding stories behind words, investigating them further,” she said.

One of her favorites is Philomel, a word that means nightingale. It comes from the tale of a princess who was turned into a nightingale.

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