WASHINGTON — Nupur Lala, a 14-year-old Tampa, Fla., girl who never met a word she would not look up, correctly spelled "logorrhea" on Thursday to win the 72nd annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.
"I would read different books, and whenever I found a word I didn't know, I would write it down and look it up later," Nupur said as she clutched her gold trophy cup after a victory leap. "So that way, if it was a future spelling bee word, I would know it."
Nupur, who last year was eliminated in the third round of the national contest, beat out 248 other spellers, ages 9 to 15, to win $10,000, encyclopedias, two airline tickets and computer software. Her winning word, "logorrhea," means pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness.
Nupur, an eighth-grader who plays violin, swims and serves on the student council at her middle school, beat David Lewandowski, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Schererville, Ind.
David, who won $5,000, cringed after misspelling "opsimath," a word describing a person who learns late in life. He misspelled it as "o-p-s-o-m-a-t-h."
"I really didn't expect to make it as far," said David, who had placed 39th in last year's bee. "I was still trying to do my best."