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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

(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.

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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 Click to read some of the hardest words in the bee—or why one writer believes the whole thing is obsolete. (Read more Scripps National Spelling Bee stories.)

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