Pranav Sivakumar, 11 from Grayslake, Ill., concentrates while spelling during the semifinals of the National Spelling Bee, in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, June 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Yiddish word that earned a New York teen first place in the national spelling bee might have been spelled wrong, some say.
Experts in Yiddish claim that knaidel, the winning word in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night, is actually spelled kneydl, the New York Times reported.
Arvind Mahankali, 13, of Bayside Hill, N.Y. was named champion after he spelled the seven-letter word “knaidel,” and 13-year-old Pranav Sivakumar, of Barrington Middle School, earned a second-place finish, ending his run by misspelling the word “cyanophycean."
Contest rules state that if Mahankali had spelled "knaidle" incorrectly, those who were eliminated in the previous round, including Sivakumar, would have returned to the competition.
Contest officials, who reportedly rely on spellings declared in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, say the spelling was accurate.