NEW YORK: Navneeth Murali, an Indian-American teenager from New Jersey, has won the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee contest by correctly spelling “flipe” to earn the annual title and USD 3,000 grand prize.
The South Asian Spelling Bee (SASB) is an annual spelling bee platform in the US for children of South Asian descent.
“Navneeth Murali, 2019 SASB Champion!” the SASB announced in a Facebook post.
“Congratulations to our 2019 SASB First Runners-up Vayun Krishna of Sunnyvale, California, Hephzibah Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas and Pranav Nandakumar of Austin, Texas, the SASB Team could not be more proud!” the SASB said on August 14.
Murali correctly spelled the word flipe, variant spelling of flype, that Merriam-Webster dictionary describes as “to strip off by or as if by peeling”, a media report said.
“For the first time in spelling history, we have a winner… on an APPEAL! Flipe and flype are variant spellings according to Merriam-Webster’s Third Unabridged Dictionary, granting Navneeth Murali the championship! Way to go, Navneeth, a true champion! South Asian Spelling Bee 2019, signing off!” the SASB said in another Facebook post.
The competition is open to any student at or below the age of 14, who has at least one parent or grandparent who is of South Asian descent, or whose lineage can be traced to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and/or Sri Lanka.
Since its launch in 2008, the SASB has been aired in over 120 countries.
The contest was held in five regional centers across the US, including New Jersey, Dallas and San Francisco Bay Area and Charlotte.
Over 600 spellers from these centers participated from which 15 participated in the finals. (agencies)