30 May 2009

Speller takes contest with Laodicean

8:04 am on 30 May 2009

The winner has been found in the 2009 Scripps Spelling Bee in the United States.

Kavya Shivashankar, 13, from Kansas, won the contest by correctly spelling Laodicean, meaning to be lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics.

A record 293 spellers, including 28 from countries outside the United States, made it to the final stages of the contest in Washington DC.

Thirty three of the 9-15 year olds speak English as their second language.

Kavya made the top 10 in each of her previous three appearances.

The BBC reports she received a $US30,000 cash prize, several reference collections and a large trophy.

Second prize went to Tim Ruiter, 12, who tripped up on the word "maecenas", meaning a generous benefactor.

The contest has been open to spellers from countries outside the United States since 1978.

This year, 28 children from the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Korea took part.