The day started with 68 competitors. The pack was eventually whittled down to one, but the two runners up didn’t make it easy for fifth grader Anil Singh.
Arvind Mahankali 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.
After years of heartbreakingly close calls, Arvind Mahankali conquered his nemesis, German, to become the champion speller in the English language.
Arvind said he got his first taste of spelling success — in his words — “a long time back in 2nd grade,” when his teacher held a class spelling bee.