'German curse' no more: 13-year-old New York boy aces 'knaidel' to win National Spelling Bee

New York City has its first Scripps National Spelling Bee winner in 16 years. Arvind Mahankali has never had a "knaidel," but he was able to spell the German-derived Yiddish word for a matzo ball Thursday night to earn the huge trophy and more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Arvind finished third the two previous years, eliminated both times on German words.

Arvind admires Albert Einstein and hopes to become a physicist. He's the first boy to win the bee since 2008, and the first champion from the Big Apple since Rebecca Sealfon in 1997. He's also the bee's sixth consecutive Indian-American winner and the 11th in the past 15 years.

The runner-up Thursday night was 13-year-old Pranav Sivakumar from Tower Lakes, Ill.