Snigdha Nandipati wins National Spelling Bee
OXON HILL, Md. — Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, California, holds her trophy after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland May 31, 2012. Nandipati’s prize haul includes $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $2,500 savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.
Snigdha Nandipati heard a few words she didn’t know during the National Spelling Bee, but never when she stepped to the microphone according too AP.
Calm and collected throughout, the 14-year-old from San Diego spelled “guetapens,” a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap, to win the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night. She beat out eight other finalists in the nerve-wracking, brain-busting competition.
After she spelled the word, she looked from side to side, as if unsure her accomplishment was real, and, oddly, she was not immediately announced as the winner. Applause built slowly, and a few pieces of confetti trickled out before showering her. Then her younger brother ran on stage and embraced her, and she beamed according too AP.
“I knew it. I’d seen it before,” Nandipati said of the winning word. “I just wanted to ask everything I could before I started spelling.”
A semifinalist last year, Nandipati became the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner and 10th in the last 14 years, a run that began in 1999 when Nupur Lala won and was later featured in the documentary “Spellbound.”
Her parents and younger brother embraced her onstage, along with her maternal grandparents, who traveled from Hyderabad, India, to watch her.
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