Spelling champ masters "Ursprache" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Spelling champ masters "Ursprache"

(National-NBC) June 1, 2006 - It started out Wednesday with 275 super spellers from all over the world. But Thursday night, one has emerged a champion.

It took two days and 19 rounds, but late Thursday, the National Spelling Bee crowned Katharine Close its new victor.

Close, of Spring Lake, New Jersey, won it all with the word "Ursprache" which means, "a parent language." For that effort, she will take home more than $42,000 in cash and prizes. She says, "I thought I would do well, but I never thought I could win, so I'm ecstatic."

The spelling bee has been going on now since 1925, but this year the competition's final rounds made its debut on ESPN. It's a bow to the popularity of both spelling bees and reality TV.

This year's spelling bee even made a splash in the world of sports gambling. Online gambling site PinnacleSports.com says it received about $70,000 worth of bets on everything from whether the winner would wear glasses to whether the final word would have an 'e' in it.

Posted 10:52pm by Chantelle Janelle

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