Almost ninety spellers have etched themselves into history by winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and still more are remembered for inadvertently starring in ‘viral’ moments that spread to the wider culture. And then, there is the young man who did both: Sameer Mishra.
In 2008, a thirteen-year-old Mishra stepped to the microphone in anticipation of Dr. Jacques Bailly pronouncing his next word. “Numnah” is a pad of sheepskin or foam, placed under a saddle. Nothing too remarkable about that.
But when Sameer Mishra replied in quizzical voice: “Numbnut?”...a star was born. Sweetening the moment, Mishra ended up winning the entire competition, fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother four years earlier after his elder sister Shruti was eliminated during the preliminary round.
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