Anurag's winning word was "appoggiatura." According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, this mouthful of a word means, "an embellishing note or tone preceding an essential melodic note or tone and usually written as a note of smaller size."
How did this eighth-grader acquire this special skill, and who encouraged him to study for three to four hours a day? "My mom introduced me to my first spelling bee [in fourth grade]. My teachers often said I should just try it," Anurag says. "Ever since then I was interested in the spelling bee."
Want to know more about the intense thrill of the National Spelling Bee? Meet the cast of Akeelah and the Bee, a movie about a young girl from a tough L.A. neighborhood who enters the National Spelling Bee.