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Teenage New Jersey Girl Wins US National Spelling Bee


A 13-year-old girl from the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey is the new champion of America's most famous spelling bee.

Katharine Close won the Scripps Howard Spelling Bee title in Washington, Thursday night when she correctly spelled "ursprache," a German word that means parent language. In addition to the first-place trophy, she won $42,000 in cash and prizes.

Katharine is the first girl to win the spelling bee since 1999. It was her fifth consecutive appearance in the popular contest.

Coming in second place was 14-year-old Canadian Finola Hackett of Alberta, while Saryn Hooks, a 14-year-old from the southeastern U.S. state of North Carolina took third place.

Thursday's final round wrapped up two days of competition that featured 275 boys and girls.

For the first time in its 79-year history, the final round was nationally televised during what is considered "prime-time" viewing hours.

Contestants have worked their way up from local spelling bees across the country and in areas of special sponsorship in English-speaking communities around the world.

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