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'German Curse' No More For NYC Spelling Bee Champ

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., concentrates on his word

Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., concentrates on his word "galere" before spelling it correctly during the final round of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Oxon Hill, Md. / AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Associated Press Release

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) -- New York City has its first Scripps National Spelling Bee winner in 16 years. Arvind Mahankali has never had a "knaidel," but he was able to spell the German-derived Yiddish word for a matzo ball Thursday night to earn the huge trophy and more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Arvind finished third the two previous years, eliminated both times on German words.

Arvind admires Albert Einstein and hopes to become a physicist. He's the first boy to win the bee since 2008, and the first champion from the Big Apple since Rebecca Sealfon in 1997. He's also the bee's sixth consecutive Indian-American winner and the 11th in the past 15 years.

The runner-up Thursday night was 13-year-old Pranav Sivakumar from Tower Lakes, Ill.

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