Joe Skipper / Reuters
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, of New Orleans wins 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, July 8, 2021.
We have a WINNER!
Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, just won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee after correctly spelling murraya – a type of wood – to win the championship.
To get there, the teenager had to navigate through words like “troublesome”, “solidungulate” and “Nepeta”, a word the teenager had to reset and let a pleasurable leap out after her correct spelling.
Avant-garde has become the first African-American participant to win the bee in 93 editions of the competition – and will receive a cash prize of $ 50,000.
The competition started with 209 players ranging from 9 to 15 years old, from five countries: USA, Bahamas, Canada, Ghana and Japan.
Eleven participants took part in the final on Thursday night, where Avant-garde emerged as the country’s biggest speller.
First lady Dr. Jill Biden was ready to cheer on the competitors at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic – for the first time since World War II.