12-Year-Old California Girl Crowned Spelling Bee Champ: 'I Knew Them All'
Ananya Vinay, of Fresno, took the crown after correctly spelling "marocain," a dress fabric.
A 12-year-old girl from California became the Scripps National Spelling Bee champ Thursday night after fierce competition from her fellow pint-sized competitors.
Ananya Vinay, of Fresno, took the crown after correctly spelling “marocain,” a dress fabric.
She'd spent 45 minutes and nearly two dozen rounds going back and forth with 14-year-old Rohan Rajeev, of Edmond, Okla. They correctly spelled words including "Cheiropompholyx" — a type of eczema — and "Durchkomponiert," a song style.
But Rohan eventually misspelled the word “marram,” a beach grass, and Ananya went on to win after coolly spelling two more words correctly.
"I knew them all," she later told reporters.
Still, after winning the title, she appeared shocked, and could barely smile as confetti fell around her and her parents and little brother rushed to the stage.
After consoling her fellow competitor and lifting her trophy, she flashed a toothy grin to the audience.
"It's like a dream come true," she said. "I'm so happy right now."
Ananya won more than $40,000 in cash and other prizes.
Among the other standout competitors this year was the youngest contestant ever, 6-year-old Edith Fuller, from Tulsa, Okla. She aced words like “nyctinasty" and "tapas."
But the kindergartner did not get a high enough score on a required written exam, forcing her out of the competition. Upon receiving the news, she cried in her father’s arms.
Inside Edition caught up with Edith at her home where she spelled a few words for us like “refrigerator” and “escalator.” She also read out of the fairy tale book she is writing.
Despite failing to advance in the competition, her spirits remained high. “I had fun,” she said.
Her mom added: "She impresses us every day."
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