14-year-old Pennsylvania girl wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Fri, June 03, 2011 by Eva Hollenberg

Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Penn., correctly spelled cymotrichous, a Greek-derived word meaning “wavy haired,” to win the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night.

Sukanya, an eighth grade student at Abington Heights Middle School in Newton Ransom, Pennsylvania, represented the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the competition. This was her third year competing in the national finals.

Thirteen spellers took the stage for the Championship Finals on Thursday night, live on ESPN. The primetime broadcast lasted 13 rounds.

Rich Boehne, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company declared Sukanya the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and presented her with the famous loving cup after the winning word was correctly spelled.

“It is kind of surreal,” said Sukanya. “It’s just amazing. It’s hard to put into words.” 

This year, 275 champion spellers traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in the 2011 competition, which lasted 20 total rounds of spelling.

The Bee will award more than $85,000 in cash and prizes to the 275 spellers, including a $30,000 cash prize and engraved trophy for the champion. Prizes for the champion also include:

  • From Merriam-Webster: a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and a complete reference library,
  • From Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation: a $5,000 scholarship,
  • From Encyclopaedia Britannica: $2,600 in reference works and a lifetime membership to Britannica Online Premium, and
  • From K12, Inc.: an online course and a Nook eReader.

All spellers who participate in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee will receive the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award—a $100 U.S. savings bond—and, from Merriam-Webster, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, on CD ROM.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company. Scripps (NYSE: SSP; www.scripps.com) is a diverse media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information websites, and features syndication.

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