Sukanya Roy, 14, wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Decrease Increase Text size

The week began with 275 spellers. A written test Tuesday and two oral rounds Wednesday reduced the field for the semifinals, and 13 spellers survived to the finals in the ever-growing chic-to-be-geek event that was broadcast in prime time for the sixth consecutive year. It took place at a convention center south of Washington, the first time it's been held outside the nation's capital.

Sukanya Roy is America's top speller in 2011. (Photo: Associated Press)

The rounds got tougher, but it came down to a final five that wouldn't give up: Sukanya, Laura, Dakota Jones of Las Vegas, Arvind of New York and Joanna of Carlisle, Pa.

When Dakota finally misspelled "zanja" to end the remarkable run, he received a standing ovation. The remaining spellers got eight in a row before Arvind missed on "Jugendstil," which he initially and hilariously pronounced "You could steal." He also got a standing ovation and gave the crowd a salute. Everyone stood again for Joanna when she missed "galoubet."

The only two left were Sukanya and Laura. "Tired yet?" Laura asked the judges at one point.

But Sukanya couldn't be beat. She said she never had to guess at any of the words given to her.

As for her parting advice for other spellers? It has nothing to do with studying.

"You should just enjoy yourself," she said, "and try your best, and if you get out don't feel like you messed up really big, because you just getting to the nationals is a really great accomplishment in itself."

  1. «
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. »

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus