On her fourth attempt in the finals, Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe won it all in the televised National Spelling Bee competition this evening.
First she correctly spelled hydrargyrum. Then she nailed blancmange, a molded dessert, and baignoire, a low theater box.
In the fourth round, she correctly spelled huisache, a thorny shrub or small tree. Then it was ecossaise, a musical term, and diacoele, a structure in the brain. Then bouquiniste, a secondhand bookseller. And isogoge, an introduction to a branch of study, and phoresy, a biology term.
Finally, after all the others had missed a word, Kavya correctly spelled Laodicean.
She is 13 years old.