Arvind Mahankali, 13, from Bayside Hills, NY, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee this week by correctly spelling “knaidel,” a type of dumpling.
Arvind was the 86-year-old spelling competition’s third-place winner in 2011 and 2012.
This year, he beat second-place finisher Pranav Sivakumar, 13, from Illinois, after Pranav flubbed the spelling of the word “cyanophycean.”
Other finalists exited on words like "pathognomonic," a disease's characteristics, "doryline," a kind of ant, "melocoton," a grafted peach, and "kaburi," a land crab, Reuters reported.
Arvind is the sixth American of south Asian heritage in a row to become the Scripps spelling bee champion and the 11th to win the competition in the last 15 years.
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Arvind, who wants to become a quantum physicist, said he would use his $30,000 cash prize for college, Reuters reported.
The son of a physician mother and an IT consultant father, Arvind had struggled with words of Germanic origin before. But with his victory, “I thought, 'The German curse had turned into a German blessing,’ ” Arvind said, according to Reuters. “It means I can retire on a good note.”