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After finishing in third place two years in a row – eliminated both times by words of German origin – 13-year-old Arvind Mahankali spelled knaidel correctly to win the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Knaidel means "dumpling," defined as "a small mass of leavened dough cooked by boiling or steaming." It is a German-derived Yiddish word.

As Arvind remarked after his victory, "The German curse has turned into a German blessing."

Photo credit: The E.W. Scripps Company

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