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This Louisiana teen became the first African American contestant to win the National Spelling Bee

Who won the National Spelling Bee?

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Zaila Avant-garde celebrates winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana, is covered with confetti as she celebrates winning the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

John Raoux, Associated Press

The National Spelling Bee came to a conclusion Thursday night with Zaila Avant-garde, who is a 14-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, taking home the top prize.

Who won the National Spelling Bee?

Avant-garde won the championship in 18 rounds, defeating 10 other finalists, according to Yahoo News.

  • “It felt like really good to become a winner simply because of the fact that I’ve been like working on it for like two years and then to finally have it like the best possible outcome was really good,” Avant-garde told “Good Morning America.”

Avant-garde became the first African American contestant to win after 93 editions of the spelling competition, according to CNN.

What was the final word of the 2021 Spelling Bee?

Avant-garde’s final word was “Murraya,” which is a type of tropical tree often seen in Asia and Australia, ESPN reported.

  • “I was pretty relaxed on the subject of Murraya and pretty much any other word I got,” Avant-garde said, according to ESPN.

What else has Avant-garde won?

Avant-garde has a stacked resume, actually. She has secured three Guinness world records for juggling and dribbling multiple basketballs at once, according to Today.com. Seriously.

  • Now, she told Today.com she’s unsure what to do with the $50,000 prize money.
  • “Well, when I won $10,000 for another spelling bee, I said I was going to stick it under the floorboards for security, but the $50,000, that would be a lot of dollars and I don’t think my floorboards could fit it, so I don’t know,” she said.