Indian Girls Place 1 and 2 in National Spelling Bee. Where’s Akeelah?

There were no “guetapens” here for 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego, who won the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night when she correctly spelled the word, which means a trap or ambush.

Confetti shot into the air in front of Snigdha, who said she knew all her words when she got up in front of the microphone.

What will she do with her $30,000 cash prize?

“I don’t know, maybe save it for college,” Snigdha said.

Snigdha’s grandparents traveled from India to watch her spell. Her family proudly stood up on stage as she was handed her trophy.

Snigdha said she studies 10-12 hours on weekends and six hours on weekdays. She wants to become a psychiatrist or a neurosurgeon.

First runner-up, Stuti Mishra, 14, of West Melbourne, Fla., misspelled “schwarmerei” which means excessive enthusiasm.

Nine finalists battled Thursday night after surviving a four-hour semifinal round that eliminated 41 hopefuls.

To read the entire story by Natalie DiBlasio and see video, go to USA Today

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