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How do you spell 'prospecience'?
Thirteen-year-old Indian American Pratyush Buddiga knew the answer -- the word, meaning foresight, is spelt p-r-o-s-p-e-c-i-e-n-c-e.
That knowledge won the student of Mountain Ridge Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, first prize in the 75th annual edition of the prestigious Scripps Howard Spelling Bee, which includes a trophy and $12,000. The event was held in Washington, DC.
How do you spell 'morigeration'?
Steven Nalley, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Starkville, Mississippi, didn't know -- and that meant he had to be content with the runner-up slot.
The contest began on Wednesday (May 29) with 250 contestants, of whom 175 made it to the 25-word written test, at the end of which only 90 were left standing.
This led up to Thursday's final, telecast live on ESPN and followed by avid fans throughout the US.
The finalists included 27 home schoolers, 167 students from public schools and 55 from private schools.
Two contestants were trying their hand for the fourth year running, eight were participating for the third time and 44 others were coming back for a second year.
Over time, the famed Bee, which has a tremendous fan following, has become unimaginably tougher.
In 1941, the finalist correctly spelt 'initials' to win.
A decade later, the winning word was 'insouciant'.
The students who got 'smaragdine', 'shalloon', 'sarcophagus' and 'antipyretic' took the titles in 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1991, respectively.
Compared to that, 'gamopetalous', 'gnotobiotic' and 'syntrophism' were merely warm-up words in early competition on Thursday, before the heat got turned on.
'Basmati' found its way into the bee this year -- but that was child's play compared to:
You get the idea.
Pratyush Buddiga, the ultimate winner, is a straight A student with several awards for academic excellence. An avid reader with a penchant for science-fiction novels, Pratyush was placed fourth in the Colorado Geography Bee in 2001.
Besides spelling words most people haven't even heard of, Pratyush enjoys swimming, basketball, chess and video games.
How do you spell 'prospicience', again?
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