An Indian-American teenager from New Jersey won the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee, after correctly spelling the word “flipe” to earn the national title and $3,000 grand prize.
By correctly spelling the word that means to strip off by or as if by peeling, Navneeth Murali bested Hephzibah Sujoe, 13, of Fort Worth, Texas; Pranav Nandakumar, 13, of Austin, Texas; and Vayun Krishna, 12, of Sunnyvale, California, who all tied for the runner-up position, the India West newspaper reported on Sunday.
“It fills my heart to see such talented young spellers from across the country who make us proud as a community,” South Asian Spelling (SAS) Bee founder Rahul Walia said in a statement.
“The initiative is unique in its reach and engagement and with the help of the SAS-Bee program, we were able to give even more spellers the opportunity to win it all and raise the bar even higher. My heartiest congratulations to the winner,” Walia added.
The bee was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in five regional centers across the US, including New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Dallas, the San Francisco Bay Area and Charlotte.
Over 600 spellers from these centers participated from which 15 finalists took the stage at the finals.