New York eighth-grader Arvind Mahankali is the fiercest speller around. No word can foil him, as he proved Thursday when he beat out other Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants by spelling "knaidel" correctly.
"I know this. I got this," he told CNN's "Early Start" on Friday morning, recalling how he confidently steadied himself before enunciating every letter in the Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling. When he uttered the final letter, the audience erupted in wild applause.
The 13-year-old is feeling good even though he knows he won't be able to compete again since there's a limit on contestants beyond the eighth-grade.