National Spelling Bee 2013

This year 281 spellers competed for the 2013 National Spelling Bee title. Check out the drama — and the victory.

36 photos
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Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y. watches confetti fall after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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Meet the new Scripps National Spelling Bee champion: Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y. The 13-year-old spelled the word "knaidel" correctly to win the coveted title Thursday night. Click to see more from the bee.
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Arvind is taking home the $30,000 cash prize and the special trophy — prizes he'd come close to before, finishing third in the bee in 2011 and 2012.
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Among the other hopefuls who had been vying for those prizes at Thursday night's finals of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee: Syamantak Payra, 12, of Friendswood, Texas, left, Vanya Shivashankar, 11 of Olathe, Kan., center, and Vismaya Kharkar, 14, of Bountiful, Utah, here seen waiting their turn to spell.
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Grace Remmer, 14, of St. Augustine, Fla., breathed a sigh of relief at the Thursday finals after spelling "greffier" correctly.
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Vismaya Kharkar, 14, spelled "sciomancy" correctly Thursday night — but she was eliminated from the bee later when she misspelled "paryphodrome."
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Soleil Roselinda Jones, 13, of Oxnard, Calif., was one of the 281 spellers who competed in the bee leading up to the finals.
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Katharine Wang, 11, of Beijing, China, second from left, hugged Amber Born, 14, of Marblehead, Mass. at the start of the semifinal round.
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Katharine Wang, 11, of Beijing, China incorrectly spelled "hyetomete" during the semifinal round.
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Christopher O'Connor, of Tucson, Arizona spells the word "pultaceous" incorrectly during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Katharine Wang, 11, of Beijing, China, center, gathers herself before the start of the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee. From left are, Eva Kitlen of Niwot, Colorado., Wang, and Audrey Bantug, 13, of San Ramon, California.
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Isabel Cholbi of San Bernardino, California reacts after spelling the word "telergy" correctly during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Eva Kitlen, 14, of Niwot, Colorado writes out the word "kleptocrat" in her hand before spelling it correctly during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Jae Canetti of Reston, Virginia pauses before spelling the word "punctilio" correctly during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Zerin Wetzel of Fort Irwin, Calif., reacts after spelling the word "commissar" incorrectly during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Cundey, of Evans, Georgia, one of the 281 spellers who will compete for the 2013 National Spelling Bee title, spells the word "lokshen" correctly during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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There are 281 contestants this year from all over the country and the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea as well. This year started with a newly instituted vocabulary test. The contest takes place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, and runs through June 1.
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A total of 281 spellers from across the United States and foreign countries arrived in the morning of May 28, to take a 45-minute computer test that probes their knowledge of both spelling and vocabulary. For the first time in its history, the contest is requiring young contestants to not only spell obscure words correctly but know what they mean.
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Shobha Dasari, 12, of Pearland, Texas spells her word with her finger during the second round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 29. The bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program.
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Aaron Michael Manning of Evansville, Indiana waits his turn during the third round of the National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.
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Katharine Wang, of Beijing, China, right, smiles after getting the word "quebracho" correct during the third round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Katharine Wang, 11, of Beijing, China spells her word during the second round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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Abirami Ratnakumar, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., wears panda bear gloves as she spells the word "cyathiform" correctly during the third round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Marguerite Arbogast, 13, of Ludington Michigan, spells her word during the second round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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Audrey Bantug, 13, from San Ramon, California and Cassandra Clowe-Coish, 12, of St. John's, Canada wait to spell their words during the second round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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Latia Jones of Mount Vernon, N.Y., reacts after spelling the word "witloof" incorrectly during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Contestant Hauen Moon, 11, from Waco, Texas departs the Preliminaries Test with her father Sung Ho Moon.
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Spellers arrived Tuesday morning to take a 45-minute computer test that probes their knowledge of both spelling and vocabulary. The results were combined with Wednesday's on-stage round to determine which spellers would advance to the semifinals Thursday.
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The Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy waited for a winner at the start of the second round of competition. The finals were Thursday night, May 30, when the winner took home more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.
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The Spelling Bee took on new meanings this year. The contest got underway with a vocabulary test, the first in the competition's history, a recently added wrinkle that had spellers changing their study plans on the fly. The results was used to help determine who advanced to the semifinals Thursday.
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Victoria Allen of Green River, Wyo. paused as she spells the word "alim" correctly during the second round of the National Spelling Bee.
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Antonio Vince Miguel Lansang of Neligh, Neb., adjusted the microphone before spelling the word "pneumatic" correctly during the second round of the contest.
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Alotus Nguyen Wei, 11, from Lima, Ohio, right, was hugged by her sister Alexis Wei, accompanied by their parents HueAnh Nguyen center, and Victor Wei, center left, as she prepared to take the National Spelling Bee's Vocabulary Test.
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Scripps National Spelling Bee contestant Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., left, departed with his younger brother Srinath, 9, after completing the Preliminaries Test phase of the Bee. Arvind finished 3rd in the Bee last year.
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Parents of Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants waited for their children to complete the Preliminaries Test, which included a vocabulary test this year.
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Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, right, and her brother Sujan Nandipati, hoisted up her trophy after she won the National Spelling Bee by spelling the word "guetapens" in Oxon Hill, Md., on May 31, 2012.
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