'Cholent' makes an appearance at Scripps National Spelling Bee

Grace Parrott of Ketchikan, and Daniel Doudnavo of Fairbanks placed high in this year's National Spelling Bee

Grace Parrott of Ketchikan, and Daniel Doudnavo of Fairbanks placed high in this year's National Spelling Bee

Reagan and Aidan Veress, an eighth-grader from Gardiner Public Schools in Park County, will both come home to Montana with bragging rights that they made it through Round 3 of the national bee, which brought 519 spellers to Maryland to compete.

After Sravanth Malla, 14, of Haverstraw, N.Y., misspelled "cento", the Bee was down to its final five competitors in round 12 of the competition overall.

Rohan, who was the spelling bee champion at Dewitt Perry Middle School in Carrollton, qualified for the national bee for the first time this year.

The Greek word "koinonia" - most commonly pronounced "koy-nuh-NEE-uh" - is defined as "intimate spiritual communion and participative sharing in a common religious commitment and spiritual community". The tension and relief on the faces of the other competitors, including Nicholas Lee, 14.

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The first-place prize this year includes $40,000 cash and an engraved trophy along with a trip to NY to appear on the ABC talk show Live With Kelly and Ryan.

Naysa was making her fourth appearance at nationals and had a loud cheering section.

Another Indian-American, Atman Balakrishnan, the 12-year-old son of 1985 champion Balu Natarajan, did not advance to the finals. But because the judges didn't define the word for Reagan, they chose to accept her spelling after she had left the stage.

Abhijay's older sister, Ananya Kodali, was one of those blue-chip Dallas spellers who never made it to nationals - she lost twice at regionals to a speller who ended up finishing fifth on the Scripps stage. She first competed in the bee as a cherubic 9-year-old.

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"She deserved the trophy as much as I did", Karthik said.

Google recently compiled a list of the top searches that included the phrase "how to spell" from the a year ago. The prime time finals featured 11 students who had previously been to the national contest. "I'm trying not to make that my standard", she said Wednesday.

Several states are unclear as to how to spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and it's easy to see why.

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