Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

TV

National Spelling Bee champ can spell everything... except 'covfefe'

Posted on

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

After quite the nailbiter, 12-year-old Ananya Vinay became the 2017 Scripps Spelling Bee champion at Thursday night’s 90th annual tournament, crushing the competition at last with the correct spelling of “marocain.” Friday morning, the youngster appeared on CNN’s New Day, where hosts Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota tripped her up.

Because “covfefe” is not a real word.

“So Ananya, we have a challenge for you. We would like you to spell a word. It has recently become popular — not sure if you’re familiar with it or know the definition,” Camerota started. “Do you know the word ‘covfefe’?”

Like a true champ, Vinay’s training kicked in, and she began asking all the questions she was taught. “Definition, please,” she asked with a big smile. “Language of origin?” she questioned with a laugh. “Part of speech?”

Vinay didn’t wind up spelling it correctly. Which doesn’t really matter. She knew “marocain” — which, by the way, means “a ribbed crepe fabric used in women’s clothing” according to Merriam-Webster — and 34 other tricky words when it counted.