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Haverstraw Sixth Grader's Spelling-Bee Buzz


Who ever thought studying for those grade school vocab quizzes could help you win big? Probably the students competing in this week’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will lavish its winner with a $40,000 cash prize. As it happens, Haverstraw’s own Sravanth Mohan Malla came awfully close. The Haverstraw Elementary sixth-grader was one of 45 students (out of 284 total competitors) who made it to today’s sixth round, where he was unfortunately unfortunately eliminated on the word “monture,” which according to Merriam-Webster, is a “frame or setting especially for a jewel.” Go figure. 

Nonetheless, Malla flashed some mean wordsmith chops during earlier stages, blowing through yesterday morning’s rounds by nailing “skedaddle” and “nolition” (i.e. “unwillingness”), respectively. And worry not, as this isn’t Sravanth’s first time at the spelling rodeo, er, bee, and it doesn’t have to be his last. (And, incidentally, his sister Sanjana placed among the top 25 in 2012 and ’14, so a love of letters apparently runs in the Malla family.) The 12-year-old still has two years of eligibility to chase down the cash prize, trophy, and eternal orthographic glory.

And just to leave you definitively smiling, this year’s bee also included its first-ever first grader, 6-year-old Texan Akash Vukoti, who went down in round three by misspelling “bacteriolytic.” Far as we’re concerned, Vokoti and Sravanth are both still champs.

TOP PHOTO BY Scripps National Spelling Bee USED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0