Washington: Snigdha Nandipati, a 14-year-old Indian American girl spelled the French for ambush, "guetapens", right to be crowned the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

READ MORE:Three PIO kids in Spelling Bee finals

"It's a miracle," said Nandipati as she pipped fellow Indian-American Stuti Mishra, 14, of West Melbourne, Florida who stumbled over "schwarmerei", German for extravagant enthusiasm, in the last round of the final at a convention centre outside Washington on Thursday night.

Nandipati gets USD 30,000 in cash, a trophy, a USD 2,500 savings bond, a USD 5,000 scholarship, USD 2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica and an online language course.

With Arvind Mahankali, 12, of Bayside Hills, New York, a finalist for the last two years, the three Indian American children were the only spellers left in the last round. Six others also made the finals.

Forty-one spellers, meanwhile, heard the dreaded bell that signals an incorrect spelling. Those included one of the favorites, 10-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas. The younger sister of the 2009 champion got the only perfect score in the preliminary rounds.

Breezily confident through the first two semifinal rounds, Shivashankar was flummoxed by "pejerrey", a small fish. She went with "perjere". Another Indian American fifth-time competitor, Rahul Malayappan, also did not make to the finals.

The finals did not include the youngest speller in bee history, six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Virginia, who was eliminated during the preliminary rounds when she misspelled one of her two words -- "ingulvies" (the crop, or craw, of birds) -- and then fell short on her written test.


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