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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