Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Sixth-grader wins National Spelling Bee

The two deadlocked for 20 rounds until Rohan, an eighth-grader, tripped on the word "marram" (the Norse-derived word for a type of grass).

Ananya was the epitome of composure as she steadily progressed through the rounds easily to become the first sole victor of the competition since 2013.

The victor receives a $40,000 grand prize and plenty of bragging rights, while second place gets a $30,000 reward.

Competitors age 6 to 15 emerged from early spelling bees involving more than 11 million youths from all 50 U.S. states, USA territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, and several countries, from Jamaica to Japan.

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It was a grueling 12-hour day for Vinay, 12, who spent the final 45 minutes of the Bee exchanging words with 14-year-old Rohan Rajeev. Ananya after winning the competition said, "I just focussed on the words given to me and tried to get them right".

Ananya appeared Friday morning on CNN, where hosts Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota asked her to spell the word that the president posted in an aborted Tweet this week.

"C-O-F-E-F-E?" she guessed, while giggling could be heard in the background. We would like you to spell a word.

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Ananya, a 12-year-old Californian, cheers for the Golden State Warriors. Scripps added a tiebreaker test this year, to prevent further ties, but it was not needed.

Despite failing to advance in the competition, her spirits remained high. Thankfully, we've now returned to ensuring one of two children is really sad, as the 2017 Spelling Bee had a single victor, no tiebreaker rounds needed.

According to The Guardian, Vanay is the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage. Ananya and Rohan, an eighth-grader from Edmond, Oklahoma, went head to head for nearly 20 rounds.

Before Ananya and Rohan began their lengthy duel, some better-known spellers were surprisingly eliminated.

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