WASHINGTON, May 29 -- Thirteen-year-old Rebecca A. Sealfon of Brooklyn, N.Y., has successfully spelled 'euonym' in the 22nd round to win the 70th Annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. After runnerup Prem Murthy Trivedi, an 11-year-old from Howell, N.J., misspelled 'cortile' to open the round, Sealfon had trouble controlling her glee.
Clearly confident, the jubilant eighth grader squealed throughout while correctly spelling the winning word. 'Euonym' is a noun that means 'a word well suited for the person, place or thing named.' Sealfon, sponsored by The Daily News of New York, does not regularly attend school but is tutored at home. The method apparently works well, as she placed eighth in the event last year. For her victory, Sealfon wins, among other things, $5,000 plus a $1,000 savings bond, a laptop computer and a set of The Encyclopedia Britannica. Sudheer Potru, 13, of Detroit finished third. He bowed out in the 14th round after misspelling 'pachymeter.' Cody Boisclair, 14, of Atlanta placed fourth. Sealfon missed a chance to win in the 17th round after Trivedi, sponsored by the Asbury Park Press, slipped up, but her mistake in spelling 'dulcinea' sent the competition to the 18th round. After spelling 'nomothetic' to conclude the 14th round, the outspoken Sealfon turned to the judge, declaring 'that was a guess, I didn't know. How come you're asking such ridiculous words?' An avid fiction and nonfiction reader, Sealfon also writes her own stories and enjoys working with computers and playing chess. The competition took place over three days at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington. At the start, there were 245 youths taking part in the event, with 51 still in contention entering the final day. ---
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