After back to back third place finishes, Arvind Mahankali of New York became the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

National Spelling Bee Winning Word: ‘Knaidel’ Earns Arvind Mahankali 2013 Championship


Arvind Mahankali out of New York finished in third place the previous two years and a ninth place finish in 2010, but this was his year. After a tightly contested back and forth battle, Mahankali was crowned the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion after successfully spelling German word “knaidel”. Knaidel is a small mass of leavened dough or a dumpling.

After second-place finisher Pranav Sivakumar from Illinois misspelled “cyanophycean”, Mahankali had to spell two words correctly. He successfully spelled “tokonoma”, before successfully spelling “knaidel”, which was a German word. For those unfamiliar with Mahankali’s past in the spelling bee, German words have always been his downfall.

This year was not the case. Mahankali, 13, was able to get past the curse and become the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

It was the sixth-straight year, it was an Indian-American that took home the spelling bee trophy.

Mahankali is an eight-grade student from Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School. He was able to outlast the other 280 spellers who began the national bee’s preliminary rounds Tuesday. He was sponsored by the New York Daily News. 

Congratulations to Arvind for finally coming out on top.

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