OXON HILL, Md. – Twelve-year-old Ananya Vinay has won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The sixth-grader from Fresno, California, won by spelling "marocain," a French word for dress fabric made of ribbed crepe. She gets more than $40,000 in cash and prizes.
Runner-up Rohan Rajeev missed the word "marram," a Scandinavian-derived word for beach grass.
Ananya's victory was the first time since 2013 that the bee has declared a single champion. It ended in a tie for three consecutive years.
The bee added a written tiebreaker test this year, but it didn't come into play.
It was the first time since 2013 that the bee declared a sole champion. After three straight years of ties, the bee added a tiebreaker test this year, and it looked like it might come into play as Ananya and Rohan dueled for 21 of the allotted 25 championship rounds.
Last year, Ananya fared well enough on the bee's written spelling and vocabulary test to make the top 50, but she flubbed a relatively easy word, "multivalent," on stage.
"She panicked. It was not a hard word," said her father, Vinay Sreekumar. "I think she learned from that and she consciously worked on it, how you shouldn't panic, just focus on the word."
Ananya is the 13th consecutive Indian-American to win the bee and the 18th of the past 22 winners with Indian heritage, a run that began in 1999 with Nupur Lala's victory