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  Teenager wins US spelling contest
Updated 04 June 2004, 09.34
Wow, what a word!
A 14-year-old from Indiana has beaten 264 other young hopefuls to be crowned the spelling champion of the US.

David Tidmarsh spelled the word autochthonous - which means native to a certain place -to take the title.

The National Spelling Bee competition is a big event in the US. Kids study hard for months and have to get through regional contests to make the final.

David's prize included $17,000 and an engraved trophy. It took 15 rounds of spelling before David clinched his win.

Spelling the winning word

Akshay Buddiga from Colorado was second, and Nicholas Truelson from South Dakota came third.

David beat them after they failed to spell schwarmerei - which means going over the top about something - and parrhesia, meaning freedom of speech.

Akshay caused a stir when he fainted in the sixth round, but he recovered to take the runner-up spot.

At a press conference, David was asked if anyone had helped him with his spelling.

"I did it myself. I hate to say it, but I did," he replied.

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