Arvind Mahankali, 13, Wins National Spelling Bee

Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., holds the championship trophy after he won the National Spelling Bee by spelling the word "knaidel" correctly on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Oxon Hill, Md.
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He appeared to have more trouble with "galere," a word for a group of people having a marked common quality or relationship. He asked for the etymology twice — French and old Catalan — shifted his body back and forth and stroked his chin before getting it right with seconds to spare.

Amber, an aspiring comedy writer and crowd favorite, bowed out on "hallali," a huntsman's bugle call. She said, "I know, I know," when the clock told her time was running out, and she knew she had missed it, saying "That's not right" as she finished her effort.

The bee's growing popularity is reflected in an ESPN broadcast that gets more sophisticated each year. In the semifinals, Amber got to watch herself featured on a televised promo that also aired on the jumbo screen inside the auditorium.

She then approached the microphone and, referring to herself, deadpanned: "She seemed nice."

Vanya Shivashankar, at 11 the youngest of the finalists, fell short in her bid to become the first sibling of a previous winner to triumph. Her sister, Kavya, won in 2009. Vanya finished tied for 5th after misspelling "zenaida," which means a type of pigeon.

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