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Spelling Bee Winner From Queens Honored At City Hall

Arvind Mahankali Correctly Spelled ‘Knaidel’ To Win Competition
Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, Queens meets Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall, June 4, 2013. (credit: NYC Mayor's Office)

Arvind Mahankali of Bayside Hills, Queens meets Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall, June 4, 2013. (credit: NYC Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) –  Scripps National Spelling Bee winner Arvind Mahankali of Queens was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg Tuesday at City Hall.

The 13-year-old from Bayside Hills correctly spelled “knaidel,” a German-derived Yiddish word for a small mass of leavened dough, to win the 86th version of the competition.

Mayor Bloomberg said Mahankali’s win further demonstrates the greatness of New York City’s schools.

The two shared knaidel from Katz’s Deli during their meeting at City Hall.

Watch Mayor Bloomberg’s Press Conference With Arvind Mahankali

Arvind is currently a student at Nathaniel Hawthorne Junior High School and will attend the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. Mayor Bloomberg challenged Arvind to spell “Stuyvesant,” which he got right.

Mahankali thanked New Yorkers for their support and encouragement.

“With the rich diversity, culture, energy and with so many great people, New York is a class of its own, so I couldn’t imagine growing up in any other place,” he said.

The bee tested brain power, composure and, for the first time, knowledge of vocabulary.

Arvind outlasted 11 other finalists, all but one of whom had been to the National Spelling Bee before. Thirteen-year-old Pranav Sivakumar of Tower Lakes, Ill., finished second.

On Monday, Mahankali visited the Carnegie Deli where he got to taste knaidel for the first time.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)