A 13-year-old Tower Lakes boy earned a second-place finish in the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Pranav Sivakumar, of Barrington Middle School, was among 11 finalists who took the stage in Oxon Hill, Maryland on Thursday night.
He misspelled "cyanophycean," leading Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hills, N.Y. to be named champion with the seven-letter word "knaidel."
The pair were the last survivors from a field from a field of 281 contenders who arrived to compete for the title of champion speller of the English language. The field was whittled down from 42 semifinalists Thursday afternoon, with spellers advancing based on a formula that combined their scores from a computerized spelling and vocabulary test with their performance in two onstage rounds.
Lucas Urbanski, 13, of Crystal Lake who attends Immanuel Lutheran School; and Piper Winkler, 14, of Geneva who attends Elgin Academy were eliminated earlier. Urbanski went out in the sixth round, Winkler in the fifth.
Mahankali's win earns him $30,000 in cash and prizes and a large trophy.