An Indian-origin student Ananya Vinay won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee 2017 contest on Thursday night. Vinay, a 12-year-old sixth grader from Fresno, California, had spelled ‘marocain’ to win the trophy and $40,000 cash prize.
‘Marocain’ is a French word for a dress fabric of ribbed crepe, made of silk or wool or both.
According to reports, another Indian-origin student and the runner-up Rohan Rajeev missed the word “marram,” a Scandinavian-derived word for beach grass.
The bee tested participants’ knowledge of Webster’s Unabridged dictionary.
After three consecutive years of ties, the bee this year had a sole champion. Reportedly, a tie breaker test was also added this year however, it did not come into play.
First started in 1925, the purpose of Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.
Who is Ananya Vinay?
A 12-year-old girl from Fresco, California, Ananya Vinay is a sixth grader. She wants to be a doctor, scientist or a writer. She likes reading mythology and adventure stories. “I like finding stories behind words, investigating them further,” she was quoted as saying.
Reportedly, Philomel is one of her favorites which means nightingale.
“It’s like a dream come true, I’m so happy right now,” said speller 264, Ananya Vinay. “It was interesting to go back and forth for so many rounds,” she added.
A student of Fugman Elementary school, Vinay considers spelling a sport. Her favorite sport is basketball, and she is a Golden State Warriors fan. In 2016, Vinay, a natural speller and an avid reader, had volunteered for the Fresno Community Food Bank where she and her friends organised a food drive for Thanksgiving.