NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arvind Mahankali, a 13-year-old speller from Bayside Hills, N.Y., won the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night.
Mahankali was named the Scripps National Spelling Bee champion in the 16th round after correctly spelling the word "knaidel," which is defined as "a dumpling."
Mahankali represented the Daily News, in New York, N.Y., in this year's competition. He is an eighth-grade student at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 in Bayside, N.Y.
This was the fourth consecutive Scripps National Spelling Bee in which Arvind competed. He finished in third place in both 2011 and 2012.
The Championship Finals were broadcast live on ESPN. The primetime broadcast lasted 16 rounds.
Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), declared Mahankali the national champion and awarded him the engraved Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship trophy immediately after the winning word was correctly spelled.
"Congratulations to Arvind, who captivated the world by mastering some of the most difficult words in the English language and thrilled us all in becoming the 2013 national champion," Boehne said. "The Scripps National Spelling Bee is truly a national treasure and we take great pride in seeing these young leaders rise to the occasion. They are rewarded for their dedication and commitment to improving their spelling and language. Those skills will last them far beyond this academic contest."
The spelling competition began Tuesday with 281 competitors who qualified to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee by winning locally-sponsored bees.
With more than 11 million spellers starting at the local level, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program of its kind. The competition is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps, based in Cincinnati.
The competition was held in the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Round-by-round results can be reviewed at spellingbee.com.
Placing second in this year's competition was: Pranav Sivakumar of Tower Lakes, Ill., representing Lake County Regional Office of Education.
The national champion receives a $30,000 cash prize along with the engraved trophy from Scripps; a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and complete reference library from Merriam-Webster; and $2,000 of reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica.
About the Scripps National Spelling Bee: The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.
About Scripps: Scripps (www.scripps.com) is a leading media enterprise driven to develop and expand its digital strategies while embracing its rich history in delivering quality journalism through television stations, newspapers and the Scripps Howard News Service. Creative, talented and energetic employees are leading the way at 19 television stations and in 13 newspaper markets. The Scripps digital group is growing and gaining momentum with new product offerings, enhancements, and technology that gives customers more options than ever before to find the information and entertainment they crave.