Pacelli’s Nanda advances to next round of Scripps Spelling Bee preliminaries

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Among the hundreds of spellers competing in the 92nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, speller no. 268 is none other than Pacelli Catholic School eighth grader Neha Thawani Nanda.

Nanda, who was named the regional spelling bee champion in southeast Minnesota earlier this year, is competing in Washington, D.C. to be crowned the best speller in the United States.

On Tuesday, Nanda spelled her word “conticent” correctly and will continue competing in the preliminaries today, according to Jean McDermott, principal of Pacelli Catholic Schools. The day before, Nanda completed a written preliminaries test.

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The top scorers on the preliminaries test who spell correctly in rounds two and three will be invited to the stage for the announcement of finalists, according to the National Scripps Spelling Bee website. No more than 50 spellers will advance to the finals, which starts on Thursday.

If Nanda wins the spelling bee, she’d win a $50,000 cash prize and the Scripps National Spelling Bee trophy engraved with her name, a $2,500 cash prize and reference library from Merriam-Webster, and $400 worth of reference works from Encyclopedia Britannica, including a 1768 Encyclopedia Britannica replica set and a three-year membership to Britannica Online Premium.

Pacelli and Southeast Service Cooperative would receive engraved commemorative plaques from the Scripps National Spelling Bee as well.

Nanda could also win a trip to New York City with a parent to appear on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” which airs weekdays in the mornings for national syndication, and a trip to Hollywood to appear on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” which airs weeknights, if she were to win the competition.

Follow the Austin Daily Herald for more updates on Nanda’s progress through the Scripps National Spelling Bee.