Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, New York holds his trophy as president of the E.W. Scripps Company Rich Boehne looks on after the finals of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee May 30, 2013 at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Mahankali has won the championship of the annual spelling contest after he correctly spelled the word 'knaidel.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - New York City has its first Scripps National Spelling Bee winner in 16 years. Arvind Mahankali has never had a "knaidel," but he was able to spell the German-derived Yiddish word for a matzo ball Thursday night to earn the huge trophy and more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.
Arvind finished third the two previous years, eliminated both times on German words.
Arvind admires Albert Einstein and hopes to become a physicist. He's the first boy to win the bee since 2008, and the first champion from the Big Apple since Rebecca Sealfon in 1997. He's also the bee's sixth consecutive Indian-American winner and the 11th in the past 15 years.
The runner-up Thursday night was 13-year-old Pranav Sivakumar from Tower Lakes, Ill.
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