Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009

May 29th, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by GD  

Kavya Shivashankar Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar has notched the title of the nation’s top speller. The girl from Olathe, Kansas spelled the word “Laodicean” correctly on Thursday night to win the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee. The word LAODICEAN means one who is indifferent, mostly in religious matters. She will be walking away with the winner’s cash prize of more than $30,000, savings bonds amounting to $2,500, $5,000 scholarship and an Encyclopedia Britannica reference collection.

12-year-old Tim Ruiter has secured the second place in the competition, from Centerville, Virginia.

A record breaking number of participants (293) took part in the competition this year. Tom Harkins, 14, an eight grader of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn narrowly missed his chance of being in the top 41 semi-finalists. Tom, a fan of Mets, put in his final word, “misogynist”; the word misogynist means hatred of women. But it could not help secure a place for him in the semi finalists’ slot, as he did not score much in the written exam, which is the first round. In the second round, Tom had spelled “illogical” correctly.

Talia Weisberg, of Manhattan, lost her chance when she placed an extra ‘m’ in the word glomerulate. The word means grouped in dense clusters.

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, encouraged the participating children. She asked them to be confident, saying confidence is one of the best attributes.

41 participants made it to the semi final rounds on Thursday morning. The count was finally brought down to 11, for the nationally televised finale.

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