California Teen Wins US National Spelling Bee

Posted June 1st, 2012 at 12:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Snigdha Nandipati has won the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Announcer: “Guetapens.”

Nandipati: “Guetapens. Is it French?”

Announcer: “It's from French.”

Nandipati: “Guetapens. G-U-E-T-A-P-E-N-S, Guetapens.


Second announcer: “And guess what? We have a champion of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Snigdha Nandipati.”

Her correct spelling of the French word meaning ambush earned Snigdha a $30,000 prize, a $5,000 scholarship and other awards at the spelling bee, an annual event in the U.S. capital for 85 years.

The 14-year-old winner, an eighth-grade student from San Diego, California, had finished second in last year's contest. She was the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner of the spelling bee, and contest veterans calculate that she is the 10th Indian-American winner since 1999.

Snigdha's grandparents traveled from India to attend the event.

Stuti Mishra, a 14-year-old from Orlando, Florida, finished second. Her misspelling of a German word – “schwarmerei,” meaning excessive enthusiasm – set the stage for Snigdha's victory.

Arvind Mahankali of New York, a 12-year-old, finished in third place for the second straight year.