V-I-C-T-O-R-Y. That’s what one proficient speller tasted during the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on June 1. Ananya Vinay won the 2017 event, the first sole champion to claim the prize in three years! Here’s five things to know about her.
Is there a single word that means “utter and total domination over the competition?” If there is Ananya Vinay certainly knows how to spell it, as the 12-year-old speller outlasted the 15 final contestants at the end of the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee. In the end, it was the word “Marocain” — a type of French fabric — that allowed Anaya to emerge victorious! She ended up in an epic spell-off against Rohan Rajeev, 14, an eighth-grader at Oklahoma Christian School, in OKC. The poor boy burst out weeping when she got the final word correct, after be finally cracked and misspelled his first word in 10 hours of competing. Here’s five things to know about Ananya.
1. Ananya was the youngest person on the stage of 15 finalists.
At just 12-years-old she was the youngest member of the final field, where older kids had more competition experience than she did. She’s a sixth grader at Clovis Unified’s Fugman Elementary outside of Fresno.
2. Ananya is a three time California State Champion at spelling.
Despite her young age, she’s already been the top speller in California three times. She’s not even out of elementary school yet!
3. Ananya was knocked out after her second word in the 2016 National Spelling Bee.
When she competed in 2016, she went one for two words and was out almost immediately. In 2017, she went 35 for 35 words to win the entire competition!
4. Ananya was unable to compete in 2015 because she didn’t have a sponsor!
This is so sad! Despite qualifying for the National Spelling Bee in 2015, she was unable to attend as she didn’t have a sponsor who could help pony up the costs of attending the event that’s on the other side of the country from her small California town. In 2017 she had a number of backers, including the Fresno Bee newspaper who helped her achieve her dream.
5. Ananya is a massive Golden State Warriors basketball fan.
The Warriors mopped the floor with the Cleveland Cavaliers in game on of the NBA Finals on June 1, which was winding down just as she was finishing her marathon day of spelling that began at 10am EST. When asked if she had any message for Warriors Nation following her big win, Ananya excitedly told the audience “Go Curry!” in praise of captain and star Steph Curry, 28.
— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) June 2, 2017
In addition to Ananya and Rohan, her fellow fifteen finalists were: Rohan Sachdev, Erin Howards, Mira Dedhia, Shrinidhi Gopa, Tejas Muthusamy, Sreeniketh Vogoti, Saketh Sundar, Alice Liu, Raksheet Kota, Naysa Modi, Shourav Dasari, Alex Iyer, and Shruthika Padhy. The sixth grader left Maryland’s Gaylord Convention Center with a $40,000 prize, with Rohan getting a pretty sweet second place purse of $30,000.
What do you think about this year’s Spelling Bee winner, HollywoodLifers?