As it turned out, Sameer Mishra provided more than just comic relief at the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee. He ended up winning the title.
The 13-year-old from West Lafayette, Indiana, who often had the audience laughing with his one-line commentaries was all business when he aced "guerdon" Friday night to win the 81st version of the bee. The word appropriately means "something that one has earned or gained."
Sameer appeared in the bee for the fourth time and was a top 20 finisher the last two years. He clenched both fists and put his hands to his face after spelling the winning word.
He won a tense duel over first-time participant 12-year-old Sidharth Chand, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who finally stumbled on "prosopopoeia," a word describing a type of figure of speech.