Maryland (United States): Twelve-year-old Indian American Ananya Vinay, who lives in Fresno, California, has been declared the winner of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is the first solo national spelling bee champ since 2013.
Ananya seized every opportunity and eventually got the best of her steely 14-year-old eighth-grader from Edmond, Oklahoma opponent, Rohan Rajeev, to win the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
Ananya seized the opportunity when her steely opponent, Rohan Rajeev, flubbed a simple-looking but obscure Scandinavian-derived word, “marram,” which means a beach grass. She calmly nailed two words in a row, ending on “marocain,” which means a type of dress fabric of ribbed crepe, The Guardian reported.
Ananya is the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage, a run that began in 1999 with Nupur Lala's victory.
During the contest, Ananya showed no emotion and rarely smiled. When the contest was over, she consoled runner-up Rohan, who was in tears after dueling for nearly 20 rounds.
Ananya described her win as a dream come true.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Ananya said as she held the trophy. “I’m so happy right now.”
She will take home more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.