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June 5, 1999
Nupur Grabs National Spelling Bee With Logorrhea
Madona Devasahayam in Washington
After correctly spelling 'logorrhea', 14-year-old Nupur Lala became the national spelling bee champ on Friday in a fiercely contested event.
A student in Tampa, Florida, Nupur has been fascinated by words from her childhood; she says she prepared for the contest for more than six months, devoting two hours each day, and using her parents as her coaches.
Last year, she was stumbled when she got the word "commination" wrong. The 72nd annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee began with 249 spellers. When the competition resumed on Friday, 104 spellers were still in the running. At the end of the fifth round, 21 were left. The winner gets a $ 10,000 first-place cash prize, plus products worth several thousands including encyclopedias, two airline tickets and computer software. Nupur has not decided where she will want to travel.
Several Indian Americans, including Prem Trivedi, a New Jersey high school student, have reached the very top, but failed to win to be champion. Over a decade ago, Balu Natarajan from Chicago, seized the top position. Today, he is one of the more visible of young Indian American doctors.
This year, Jay Patel, 12, of Wildwood Crest in New Jersey was among the finalists. Earlier, Herswin Raj, a New Yorker zipped through "minuscular" but was tripped by "couture".
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