A 14 year old girl from Pennsylvania has won $40,000 for winning the 2011 US National Spelling Bee.
Sukanya Roy, who has competed in the spelling bee twice before, got through 20 rounds of quick-fire spelling to make it to the final in Maryland. It was here that she spelt her winning word, cymotrichous, correctly to walk away with the $40,000 prize money. The bee had lasted more then three hours, with five contestants who could not be beaten. Roy’s winner came after 21 consecutive correct spellings, when one by one the others began to make mistakes.
Laura Newcombe, 12, came second, after misspelling ‘sorites’. Toronto-born Laura was trying to become the first Canadian to win the competition.
Roy spoke to broadcasters ESPN immediately after winning, and couldn’t contain her excitement. The teenager, who also speaks fluent Bengali, said she recognized the word straight away.
“My heart started pounding, I guess. I couldn’t believe it. I just wanted to spell it right, I really didn’t want to get it wrong.”
The prize is made up of several components, including a complete reference library, $2,600 in reference works, $2,500 in a US savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship and $30,000 prize money.