Arvind Mahankali outlasted his competitors on Thursday to win the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee after nearly three hours of heated displays of intellect.
The 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y. was one of 12 finalists who passed through the bee's first-ever vocabulary test as well as two rounds of onstage competition to reach that coveted place of honor.
Of the 12 finalists, 11 were spelling bee veterans. In years past, Arvind came dangerously close to victory, only to be tripped up by his nemesis: the German-derived word.
This year he was not to be outsmarted, and with a tinge of sweetness on his path to victory, he correctly spelled the final word 'knaidel,' from German-derived Yiddish, meaning a small mass of leavened dough.
Arvind will take home a large mass of dough for his victory: $30,000 in cash and prizes.
The teen stood stunned as confetti fell around him and his family joined him onstage, and though he did not excessively verbalize his success, his younger brother seemed convinced it would all sink in soon and Arvind would be "hollering like a madman."
Read more about Arvind's path to victory.