14-year old Zaila Avant-garde from Harvey, Louisiana, after several stages of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, has been crowned the ultimate winner of the most-watched spelling programme in the world.
The Clover Lane Home school student has become the first African-American to win the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee formerly the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in the tournament’s 96-year history.
Avant, who previously competed in the 2019 edition of the National Spelling Bee and placed 370th this year correctly spelt “murraya” a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees, to win the title ahead of Chaitra Thummala, a 12-year-old from Frisco, Texas.
Zaila is an avid reader who demonstrated a strong interest in words from a very early age. Beyond her love for words and language, she enjoys learning, new things, playing basketball, listening to music and podcast and hanging out with family.
Ghana represented by Naa Koshie Plange Manyo competed in the Spelling competition but dropped out of the Spelling Bee at the preliminary stage when the Ghana best speller spelt her first word, bêtise, incorrectly.
This year’s edition of the Scripps Spelling Bee started with 209 spellers from across the U.S. and around the globe, all vying for the championship trophy was administered online amid the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.