Alex Brandon / AP
Snigdha Nandipati won the 2012 National Spelling Bee, which featured 278 spellers from around the country.
Snigdha Nandipati clinched the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee title with the French word guetapens. (If you're feeling cheeky, you could say that no guetapens could have tripped up Snigdha.) She won in the 13th round, beating Stuti Mishra, a 14-year-old from Orlando, Fla. Arvind Mahankali, a 12-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y. was third place for the second year in a row.
Snigdha is an 8th grade student at Francis Parker School, a private school in Mission Valley, according NBC San Diego. She also competed in last year’s contest and tied for 27th place. She was eliminated when she misspelled "kerystic."
According to the Spelling Bee's official web site, Snigdha reads mysteries, adventure stories and "random facts in encyclopedias, particularly those topics pertaining to science or history." She also enjoys collecting coins from around the world. She plays violin, is a member of her school yearbook club and is fluent in Telugu.
Her grandfather, who traveled from India with her grandmother to watch her compete, promised her a trip to India if she won, according to the announcers. When she won, he rushed up to the stage and gave her a hug as confetti fell around them.
One of the announcers said that Snigdha means "smooth like honey" -- we weren't able to verify that, but we'll roll with it. She was cool and confident throughout the contest, which last two days. As she said minutes she won, "I knew my words."
Below is the feed from the final rounds:
10 p.m.: Snigdha Nandipati is trending on Twitter!
9:43 p.m.: "Is there any word you didn't know?" Snigdha responds, "I knew my words." Apparently she studied 10 to 12 hours on weekends and six hours on weekdays.
9:40 p.m.: One of the announcers says that Snigdha lives up to her name, which means "smooth like honey." A bit of a leap, but I'll go with it -- she was cool and unflappable.
9:39 p.m.: Snigdha's grandfather apparently promised her a trip to India if she won. Snigdha tells the announcer that this is a "miracle." She apparently knew the word when she heard it.
9:37 p.m.: Congratulations Snigdha Nandipati, who wins with "guetapens"! Her father wrote a computer program to help her study, and it paid off. The confetti is everywhere. (Guetapens means "an ambush, snare or trap.")
Alex Brandon / AP
Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, reacts after spelling a word incorrectly and being eliminated during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
9:36 p.m.: @ScrippsBee tells us there have been co-champions three times and that the last time was in 1962.
9:36 p.m.: It's not over yet! But Stuti misspelled her word, schwarmerei.
9:34 p.m.: Oooh, apparently Stuti and Snigdha did not "exchange much chitchat during the break." Stuti's little sister has been staring at her intently as she spells her word.
9:28 p.m.: We may be here for a while. Love that Snigdha, Speller 44, just said, "right, arrondissement." As in, I used to live in the 14th arrondissement in Paris.
9:25 p.m.: We're down to two spellers. Nail biter. Snigdha aces "admittatur."
9:21 p.m.: Arvind, who is 12, misspells schwannoma. He finishes third for the second year. He'll be able to return next year.
9:20 p.m.: Oh my word. Dr. Bailey uses "schwannoma" in a sentence: "M-m-m-my schwannoma." Was Arvind even alive when Reality Bites came out? (I just looked it up. No.)
Alex Wong / Getty Images
Lena Greenberg of Philadelphia celebrates with fellow speller Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington, Ohio, after she correctly spelled her word.
9:14 p.m.: We should have noted that Lena got out for "geistlich," from the German for ghost.
9:12 p.m.: Down to the last three spellers! Arvind, Snigdha and Stuti remain on stage.
9:09 p.m.: Nicholas Rushlow gets another French word, vetiver, which he misspells. (He says, "another one?" referring to another word of French origin. What he was really thinking, he says later: "Oh crap.") His parents, clutching each others' hands in the audience, are his coaches.
9:08 p.m.: Arvind Mahankali of New York, who was at the Bee last year, is considered the favorite by many. He just correctly spelled quattrocento, which means fifteenth century.
9:07 p.m.: Love the judges who counsel the spellers to "watch Dr. Bailey's lips" and to "watch the time."
9:05 p.m.: Gifton Wright is out with ericeticolous, receives a standing ovation from his fellow spellers. Apparently you don't see this often. Gifton spells the word with an "o."
Alex Brandon / AP
Frank Cahill, 14, of Parker, Colo., reacts as he spells a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. He was eliminated.
8:55 p.m.: "That luteovirescent shirt so does not go with those skinny jeans." -- Dr. Bailey
8:54 p.m.: Lena Greenberg is a delight. She just spelled yttriferous, her voice rising an octave with each letter.
8:53 p.m.: The last word was "rouille" and Nicholas Rushlow nailed it with just seconds on the clock. Not fair. I haven't had dinner yet.
8:50 p.m.: Dr. Jacques Bailey, the official pronouncer of the Bee, was the 1980 champion. He apparently trained with a nun at his Catholic school. He says that when he joined the Bee, he "kind of had an attitude."
8:44 p.m.: Gifton Wright takes the stage and my palms start to sweat. We're literally spelling the word out loud with him as he spells p-h-t-h-i-s-i-o-l-o-g-y.
Emma Ciereszynski, 14, from Dover, New Hampshire, reacts as she incorrectly spells a word in the final round.
8:41 p.m. Frank Cahill of Parker, Colo. has been given the word "porwigle": Frog or toad larva that at hatching has a rounded body, also known as a tadpole. Countdown ... trips up and spells it p-o-r-w-i-g-g-l-e.
8:40 p.m.: Apparently some of these kids spend 600 hours practicing.
8:31 p.m.: My favorite response so far, to the word "otosteon" -- Lena Greenberg of Philadelphia just said, "What?" The audience laughed. Her mother had her head in her hands. The announcer said she doesn't watch her daughter spell.
8:30 p.m.: My favorite comment so far, about Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego: "A strong threat to go deep this time."
8:23 p.m.: I'm not sure what's more stressful -- watching the parents or watching the spellers.
Alex Brandon / AP
Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, Calif., spells a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday.
8:22 p.m.: There are now seven contestants remaining at the National Spelling Bee. Two were eliminated in the time it took simply to format this blog.
8:21 p.m.: Ouch: The National Spelling Bee's Twitter feed: "Speller 145, Emma Ciereszynski, spells ridotto incorrectly in Round Seven of the Bee.
#spellingbee She's out."
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Jordan Hoffman, 14, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, reacts as she incorrectly spells a word in the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland May 31, 2012.