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Spellbound by Sai
Sai Gunturi

Washington, May 30 (Reuters): After such tongue-twisting horrors as “gnathonic,” “rhathymia,” “dipnoous” and “hypozeuxis,” the winning word for this year’s US spelling bee champion seemed almost simple: “pococurante”.

Sai Gunturi, a 13-year-old from St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas, won in the 15th round on Thursday after two days of competition, with the finals shown live on ESPN television.

After spelling the last word, which means someone who is nonchalant or indifferent, Gunturi said he was able to win because, “I guess I wasn’t concentrating on everything else”.

As champion, Gunturi gets a cash prize of $12,000 from the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. All spellers get a commemorative watch and a $100 savings bond.

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