After being disqualified for misspelling German-derived words in 2011 and 2012, Arvind Mahankali managed to correctly spell the German-Yiddish word "knaidel" and win the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. Arvind, who is a 13-year-old from Bayside, Queens, was in his final year of eligibility and said his win "means I’m retiring on a good note." For real—check out his confidence while spelling the word, which means "dumpling":
According to the Daily News, which sponsored the local spelling bee that the middle schooler won, Arvind was foiled by "jugendstil" (artistic style) in 2011 and "schwannoma" (tumor of the nerve sheath) last year—he placed third both years. This time, when he was asked to spell "knaidel," the audience laughed when they heard it was German-derived Yiddish and the announcer even said, "No way!" However, Arvind revealed, "I thought, 'The German curse has turned into a German blessing.'"
Arvind won a $30,000 cash and a $2,500 savings bond and will be attending Stuyvesant High School this fall. Now that he doesn't have to study words, Arvind said, "I will spend the entire day studying physics." He is also the 11th winner of Indian descent since 1999.