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8th Grader Zaila Avant-Garde Makes History At Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Can you spell Murraya? (Hint: it’s a type of tree) 14-year-old Zaila Avant-Garde from New Orleans nailed it during the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday and walked away as the first-ever African-American winner in the competition’s nearly 100-year history. The only black winner before was Jody-Anne Maxwell, representing Jamaica in 1998. Avant-Garde, an 8th grader, receives $50,000. Other words she had to navigate: querimonious, solidungulate, and Nepeta Avant-Garde also holds three Guinness World Records for basketball, including the most “bounce juggles” in 1 minute. Are you a top-notch speller or thank goodness for spellcheck?