OXON HILL, Md. - Fourteen-year-old Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, in Lackawanna County, Thursday night won the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Sukanya took the title with the word cymotrichous, which means having wavy hair. She has won more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
"It's just amazing. It's hard to fine the words," said Roy, who has spent the last three days working her way through an impressively complicated set of words with origins from around the globe.
A three-time competitor at the bee, Roy tied for 12th in 2009 and 20th in 2010.
Laura Newcombe, 12, of Toronto, finished second. She was trying to become the first Canadian to win.
Sukanya becomes the fourth consecutive Indian American to win the bee and the ninth in the last 13 years. The nationally televised bee lasted more than three hours.
The finals began by remembering the first two champions.
With Jeopardy! uber-champion Ken Jennings and eight former winners in the house, the bee paid tribute to Frank Neuhauser and Pauline Bell, who both died in their 90s recently. Neuhauser won in 1925 with the word gladiolus, and Bell won in 1926 with cerise, so bee officials placed an arrangement of cerise-colored gladiolus at the base of the trophy pedestal onstage.
Then the 13 finalists entered the stage, and resumed competing for the crown that comes with more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
"There were, like, one or two words I'm glad I didn't get, but the ones that I got were fairly easy," said Joanna Ye, 14, of Carlisle, who was able to say that with a straight face about her words brachygraphy, pinetum, rocaille, and hypotrichosis. She tied for third place in the finals.
Anahita Iyer, 13, an eighth grader from Tohickon Middle School who lives in Doylestown, nailed Xanadu and anachronism, but stumbled in the seventh round on boudin.