Queens eighth grader Arvind Mahankali wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Photos by Mark Bowen / Scripps National Spelling Bee

Arvind Mahankali finished his last year at the Scripps National Spelling Bee with a bang.

After two years of placing third at the annual competition, the 13-year-old took first place last night after correctly spelling the word “knaidel,” meaning dumpling.

Mahankali is an eighth grade student from Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74 in Bayside.

According to his profile on the Bee’s official website, he loves math and science and looks to one day become a physicist.

Mahankali has participated in the competition for the previous three years, placing ninth in 2010 and third in 2011 and 2012, according to Scripps. This year is Mahankali’s last year participating because he moves on to high school next year.

The winner of the spelling bee receives a $30,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee engrave trophy, saving bonds, $2,000 of reference works and a complete reference library.

This year’s competition featured 281 spellers from the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe; as well as the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.


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