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Winner of the Spelling Bee: Zaila Avant-Garde

By Andrew Tan

Fourteen-year-old Zalia Avant-Garde from Harvey, Louisiana, won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is the first Black American to win the competition, which started in 1925.

Her winning word was Murraya, which is a type of tropical tree commonly referred to as orange jasmine. When she was declared winner, she celebrated with a dance. She out spelled 10 other contestants in the spelling bee finals, which took place near Orlando, Florida. She won a trophy and 50,000 in cash and other prizes.

Other than being a star speller, Zalia is a basketball player with three Guinness world Records for dribbling. She started competing in spelling contests two years ago.

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