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Ohio's Final Two Spelling Champs Get Knocked Out the Nationals

photo of Snehal Choudray
Ohio's last Spelling Bee champion won the 2010 competition.

While Ohio could be the home of a national championship basketball team, with the Cavs competing in the first game of the NBA Finals Thursday, the state won’t be the home of this year’s national spelling champion.

“May I have the language of origin?” “Italian.”

The word was primavera, 13-year-old Nilla Rajan’s first in the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday in Washington. She breezed through the word that describes an Italian meal. But when it came to popliteal, it was then that the 7th grader from Chillicothe got the bell that signaled her disqualification.

Massillon 8th grader Snehal Choudray made it slightly further in the round, getting to her fourth on-stage word.

Mydriasis. M-I-D-R-I-A-S-I-S." 

But, the 13-year-old missed it by one letter, leaving Ohio without a representative in Thursday night’s finals.

Ohio saw its last national champion in the bee in 2010, when  Anamika Veeramani (AHN’-uh-MEEK’-ah VEER’-ah-MAHN’-ee) of North Royalton won.

Nilla, whose appearance this year was her second in the bee’s finals, will still be eligible to compete in the national competition next year.