13-year-old whiz kid Arvind Mahankali of Bayside, Queens took home the big prize Thursday night, winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee – the first New Yorker to take home the prize is almost 16 years!
After his big win, Mahankali says he is retiring from the spelling bee world.
Retirement from spelling maybe — but not from the limelight.
He is now a celebrity!
A “spellebrity” Is what they are calling him — epecially with the girls in his class at his middle school MS 74.
Move over Justin Bieber, Arvind is the new hot guy in town and he’s really, really humble.
“He’s a really down to earth guy. Seeing him win is amazing, is it the coolest thing ever. He is really respecting our school, it’s a really big thing!” one classmate said.
This story is really about never giving up to win.
He was in two prior spelling bee competitions and he came in third place because he couldn’t spell two German words.
So he studied German words for a solid year and his work really paid off.
No one is happier than his English teacher who says watching him win was better than watching the Super Bowl!
“I was shaking in my boots watching it. That was more fun than the Super Bowl, more fun than any Subway Series!” his English teacher Katie Smart said.
In addition to his new found fame he is getting $30,000 –which he says will go toward college.
He wants to be a physicist. His role model Albert Einstein.
He’s already his best bud’s Harvey’s role model.
But it’s back to reality for Arvind on Monday; back to school and studying for his regents exams, which one would guess he will pass with flying colors.
Meantime his classmates are planning a ticker tape parade and party first before class to celebrate this young humble hero on a job well done.