Snigda Nandipati wins 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee

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National Harbor, MD – 14 year old Indian American Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego, California defeated 278 other finalists Thursday night to earn the title of 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

The tough competition began with hopefuls from each US state and territory, Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe, the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

As the clock ticked, the field had shrunk to nine finalists competing to win the title of best speller in the nation, when the eighth grader correctly spelled the word “guetapens,” a noun of French origin meaning an ambush, snare or trap.

Snigda clinched the championship after second-place finisher Stuti Mishra was eliminated when she incorrectly spelled “schwarmerei,” a German-derived word meaning excessive or unwholesome sentiment, replacing the “a” with an “e.”

The second and third place winners, also Indian Americans, were 14 year old eighth grader Stuti Mishra of West Melbourne, Florida and 12 year old seventh grader, Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, New York.


In addition to her spelling skills, Snigda has earned several medals in the Science Olympiad and will be attending the California state competition this year. At school, Snigdha participates in many math-related events, is an executive member of the school Yearbook Club and she plays violin.

This was her second appearance in the competition, and she became the first champion from California since 2007. Snigda is the fifth consecutive Indian-American winner of the National Spelling Bee. (IATNS)

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