WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- A 14-year-old Ohio girl who came close to winning last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee became this year's champion Friday night in Washington.
Anamika Veeramani of North Royalton won by spelling the word "stromuhr" correctly after the last of the other nine finalists had tripped up, Scripps Howard News Service reported. For those unfamiliar with the word, it is of German origin and means an instrument for the measurement of viscous substances.
"I'm really, really, happy -- this is one of the best moments of my life,'' Anamika said immediately after she was declared the winner. "It was pretty intense.''
Anamika finished fifth last year. As national champion, she wins $30,000 and a trophy from the E.W. Scripps Co., and more than $10,000 in cash and other prizes from other companies.
The national competition has been held every year since 1925 except for three years during World War II. This year, 273 competitors came to Washington -- including one from China, and Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kan., the 8-year-old sister of last year's national champion.