Sameer Mishra, 2008 Spelling Bee Champ, "The Numnah Kid"


Manage episode 80265210 series 74401
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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, thus fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother four years earlier after his elder sister Shruti was eliminated during the preliminary round. Sameer Mishra’s 2008 victory seems like a supreme individual performance, but to hear him tell it, his family was absolutely crucial to the effort. Mishra suggests the possibility that the family cooperation which benefited him is the critical similarity he shares with the subsequent eight South Asian winners of the Spelling Bee. The Scripps National Spelling Bee podcast is your home for features and fun on the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We’re on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at "SpellingBeePod." We love to hear from our listeners; email us anytime at To catch up on the entire series, make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or the podcast app of your choice. You can also listen anytime to past episodes at Theme by Paavo Ilves [ ] Additional music by Lovira [ ] & Scu [ | @ChampagneRecs ]

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