Scripps National Spelling Bee: 2012 National Spelling Bee winner Snigdha Nandipati wins for the word “guetapens”

By on Jun 1, 2012 in Education, United States Comments

Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego, California, was declared the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner on Thursday, May 31, 2012, after she spelled the word “guetapens” correctly, a French-derived word that means ambush, snare or trap.

2012 National Spelling Bee winner
Snigdha Nandipati

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As noted at US news sites during their live coverage of the event, Snigdha Nandipati, 14, an 8th grader of Francis Parker School, won the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy, while Stuti Mishra from Orlando, Florida landed as second, and Arvind Mahankali from Bayside Hills, New York finished as third place.

According to her profile at, Nandipati enjoys reading random facts in encyclopedias, particularly those topics about science or history; and one of her hobbies is collecting unique coins from around the world.

Apparently, Snigdha appeared to be not sure if she was correct after she spelled the word and looked side to side until applause was heard and confetti fell slowly on her head. After she was announced the winner, her brother immediately rushed to the stage and hugged her.

Later, her grandfather, who traveled from India along with her grandmother, went to the stage to hug her as confetti continues to fall to them. She later said she has studied the winning word but still asked everything about it before she started spelling it.

Aside from the $30,000 cash prize, Nandipati, who became a semi-finalist in the said competition last year, also won a $5,000 scholarship, a $2,500 savings bond, $2,600 in reference works from the Encyclopedia Britannica, along with language course via online.

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