12-year-old Ananya Vinay wins National Spelling Bee

The "Indian Super Bowl" crowns a new champion.

M-A-R-O-C-A-I-N. A new spelling champion is crowned! 12-year-old Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California correctly spelled "marocain" Thursday night to win the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Hundreds of badass young spellers from around the country gathered in Washington DC this week for several days of grueling, knock-out, drag-down competition. In the end, one remained standing.

Ananya, a sixth grader at Fugman Elementary School correctly spelled "marocain" (a dress fabric of ribbed crepe, made of silk or wool or both) in Thursday's final round. She takes home a $40,000 cash prize, a $2,500 savings bond, a collection of reference books, a giant trophy, and supreme spelling bragging rights.

Ananya's victory is the first time since 2013 that the Spelling Bee has declared a single champion. It has ended in a tie for three consecutive years. This year, the competition added a new tiebreaker procedure in the event that the finalists were able to burn through the entire list of prepared words, as in years past.

Rohan Rajeev, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Edmonds, Oklahoma, took second place. After going toe-to-toe with Ananya for several rounds, he got tripped up on the word "marram" (the Norse-derived word for a type of grass found on beaches) and Ananya was able to pounce with that "marocain" magic.

Of course, Ananya's victory also notably continues the seemingly unbeatable streak of Indian American champions of National Spelling Bee, which has affectionately earned the nickname "The Indian Super Bowl." The Indian American community has produced 18 of the past 22 champions, and Ananya is the ninth consecutive Indian American winner. Count on it.

On Thursday, when Ananya threw down that final "N" in "marocain" like a little gangster, the confetti fell, and her proud father leapt to the stage to give her a victory bear hug, you had to feel the beauty of that moment.

That's America.

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