6th grader takes first in LPS annual spelling bee - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

6th grader takes first in LPS annual spelling bee

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By: Lauren Fabrizi

After four hours of heated competition, the capital city is now home to a new spelling bee champion.

Divith Rajhgopeal loves to spell all kinds of words, so he put his spelling skills to the test Saturday at Lincoln Public Schools annual spelling bee contest.

"I was even fine with getting into the top 10, but I didn't think I would go to 10 divided by 10," Divith said.

Divith out spelled more than 100 other 5th through 8th grade students at Culler Middle School. Last year, the Lux Middle School 6th grader made it to the final two, but fell short.

He said one particular tactic that helped him win it all this time around was spelling out the words on the palm of his hand to help him better visualize the correct answer.

"I was thinking in my head, 'Please get a word I know, please, God, make me get a word I know!" Divith said.

When it came down to the last two standing, Divith and Akshay Sharma, a 7th grader from Scott Middle School, duked it out for what seemed like an eternity.

Countless words were no match for the both of them. The word "salvageable" eventually gave Akshay trouble. But he was still all smiles when it was all said and done.

"I think I did a good job, and I'm proud of myself," Akshay said.

It turns out Divith and Akshay have been buddies for more than half their lives. For Divith, winning means a lot but part of him never stopped routing for his pal.

"I would be fine with either way, I won or if he won," Divith said. "I would be fine with that because he's my friend."

For his win, Divith earned $100. He will compete in the Omaha World Herald spelling bee in March.

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