Mr. Thampy, as a 12-year-old, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2000. Winning word: Demarche.
George, the son of Indian immigrants (who relocated to Missouri), was also a homeschooler. He graduated from Harvard, majored in chemistry, and now works for an equity firm. He also serves as a judge for the Bee.
Here's an interview George did a couple of years ago where he talks about his journey to become the nation's top speller.