Spelling Bee's Winning Word: Cymotrichous
8th-grader Sukanya Roy takes the top prize
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2011 4:00 AM CDT
Sukanya Roy, 14, of South Abington Township, Pa., holds the trophy after winning the National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md. on Thursday, June 2, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Long after the time allotted by ESPN had passed, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was still going strong last night. The five remaining competitors were on a streak—21 correct words in a row—and one started to wonder "if they could declare five-way co-champions." But when the streak finally ended, 14-year-old Sukanya Roy of Pennsylvania was left as the champion, taking home more than $40,000 in cash and prizes—and the trophy, of course.

The eighth-grader, who came in 12th in 2009 and 20th last year and is the fourth consecutive Indian-American winner, won on the word "cymotrichous" ("having wavy hair"). This year was her last opportunity to participate, and she wasn't taking any chances: "I went through the dictionary once or twice," she tells the AP, "and I guess some of the words really stuck." Adorable quote from her dad: "This is not something we pressurized her to do." Click to read some of the hardest words in the bee—or why one writer believes the whole thing is obsolete.