Millburn fourth-grader competes in national spelling bee

Carla Harmon
June 3, 2017

Twelve-year-old Ananya Vinay became the nation's latest national spelling champion Thursday when she correctly spelled 35 words in a row, some of which were so obscure as to stump the most educated adult.

CNN is so obsessed with Trump's Twitter typo that they asked the recently crowned Scripps National Spelling Bee champion to spell "covfefe" on air with them. The California sixth grader was upbeat when she said:"It's like a dream come true". "I'm so happy right now".

Ananya Vinay won with the word "marocain", a French word for a dress fabric made of ribbed crepe.

Erin Howard 12 from Huntsville Ala. front row left and Rohan Sachdev 14 from Cary N.C. front row right and others react when it is announced they will be in evening finals session of the 90th Scripps National Spellin

Also in the national competition was 6-year-old Edith Fuller, the youngest speller in the national bee's history.

Sohum Sukhatankar, 11, of Allen, Texas, right, takes a moment during a break in competition at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, June 1, 2017.

The final two spellers went another 20 rounds before Ananya Vinay of California was declared the victor. What a fantastic performance!


Ananya and Rohan Rajeev, an eighth-grader from Edmond, Oklahoma, went head to head for nearly 20 championship rounds spelling their words so assuredly.

"It was kind of intense", she said of 21 rounds of head-to-head contest with Rohan Rajeev, speller 235 and an Oklahoma eighth grader in his first Bee.

But Rohan eventually misspelled the word "marram", a beach grass, and Ananya went on to win after coolly spelling two more words correctly.


The prolific speller is excited to represent her class and school. "I like finding stories behind words, investigating them further", she was quoted as saying. The results would have been used as a tiebreaker in the event that the finalists were able to make their way through the entire list of prepared words for the finals - as competitors had in 2014, 2015 and 2016. She aced words like "nyctinasty" and "tapas".

During Wednesday's preliminarys, Vogoti spelled paillard (thin grilled piece of beef or veal) and laity (people of a religious faith) after scoring high on the written test that moved him to the final rounds.

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


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