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Mo. 7th-Grader Wins Spelling Bee

June 1, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Speaking slowly but confidently, George Abraham Thampy of Maryland Heights, Mo., correctly spelled ``demarche″ _ a step or maneuver _ to win the 2000 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee.

The 12-year-old, who is schooled at home, tied for fourth in 1998 and finished in a third-place tie last year.

Fellow seventh-grader Sean Coney of Newark, Calif., misspelled ``apotropaic″ _ designed to avert evil. George then came through with ``propaedeutic,″ which means preparatory study or instruction, to survive the round and eliminate his final rival. That set the stage for him to get ``demarche″ right.

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