Arvind Mahankali spells on his hand, looking up at the pronouncer as he correctly spells “tokonoma.”
“Arvind, since you are the only speller left in this round, if you spell this next word correctly you will be the 2013 Scripps Spelling Bee Champion,” head judge Mary Brooks says from the judges table.
Tracing letters on his hand with his finger, Arvind confidently looks up and spells a word meaning a small mass of leavened dough: “k-n-a-i-d-e-l.”
German words have led Arvind, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., to his spelling-bee demise for the past two years, when he twice placed third at the bee.
“Arvind, you are the champion,” Brooks announced as confetti shot over his head, covering the stage.
It was the first time since 2008 that a boy won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.