Indian-American girl scoops $40,000 spelling-bee prize with 'cymotrichous'

Ms. Roy is the ninth Indian-American in the last 13 years to win. How come such a tiny minority is so outstanding -- even when many would come from homes where English is not the first language? No mystery really. Indians are extremely verbal. Talk is one of India's major exports. When you call the call-centre of a large organization, your query will often be routed through to India

Sukanya Roy, a 14-year-old girl from Pennsylvania, wins the 2011 US National Spelling Bee by spelling the word 'cymotrichous'.

Miss Roy took top prize in the 84th annual US National Spelling Bee after she saw off her competitors over 20 rounds of on-the-spot spelling at the final in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

After winning, the teenager, who was competing in her third championships, was shaking with excitement.

"My heart started pounding, I guess. I couldn't believe it," Miss Roy told broadcaster ESPN, immediately after receiving her trophy.

The finals have been screened live on US television since 2006 and drew and audience of over one million last year.

The winning word, cymotrichous, is an adjective relating to having wavy hair. Miss Roy, who also speaks fluent Bengali, said she knew the word immediately. "I just wanted to spell it right," she said. "I really didn't want to get it wrong."

Besides the trophy, the newly-crowned champion speller took home a $30,000 cash prize, a $2,500 US savings bond, a complete reference library, a $5,000 scholarship, $2,600 in reference works and other prizes.


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