Arvind Mahankali Spells ‘Knaidel’ to Win 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee (Video)


It would be a massive stretch to classify competitive spelling as a sport, but these spelling bees sure are stressful. And none boasts more drama than the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which was held Thursday night just outside Washington, D.C.

The competition asks middle schoolers to spell words that most of us can’t even pronounce, with the winner taking home a grand prize of more than $30,000.

A field of 281 competitors was trimmed to just 11 finalists over the course of the week, with 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali eventually taking home the 2013 title after nearly three hours of verbal gymnastics.

Mahankali, an eighth grader from Bayside Hills, N.Y., correctly spelled “glossophagine,” “trichocercous,” “galere,” “thonnier,” “chalumeau,” “dehnstufe,” “crapaud,” “kaumographer” and “tokonoma” before nailing “knaidel” (defined as a “small mass of leavened dough”) to clinch his place in linguistic history.

Check out Arvind’s final two words in the video below.

Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Scripps National Spelling Bee

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