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A 12-year-old won the National Spelling Bee with the word 'marocain'

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After plowing through the final rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee without showing much emotion, Ananya Vinay finally let a smile slip as she was awarded the trophy. 

The 12-year-old from Fresno, California, won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee held in Oxon Mill, Maryland, after multiple rounds against 14-year-old Rohan Rajeev. In addition to her new, shiny trophy, Ananya will be taking home a $40,000 grand prize. 

Ananya spelled "marocain" correctly to win. 

Last year, Ananya did well in the competition, making it into the top 50. But a fairly easy word, "multivalent," sent her home. 

"She panicked. It was not a hard word," said her father, Vinay Sreekumar. "I think she learned from that and she consciously worked on it, how you shouldn't panic, just focus on the word."


But Thursday night, the 12-year-old exuded confidence and even had a victory speech prepared before she arrived at the bee. 

Ananya was pretty excited about her victory but found out after the National Spelling Bee that she had even more to celebrate. 

As a Golden State Warriors fan, Ananya was thrilled to hear her team had dominated in Game 1 of the NBA finals and even gave Steph Curry a shoutout during her interview with ESPN. 

Ananya is set to deliver a speech during Friday's closing ceremonies.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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