Legislators yesterday adopted a resolution celebrating Arvind Mahankali, the 2013 National Spelling Bee champion. The Queens resident met state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman David Weprin on Tuesday while making made his first trip to the Capitol, which he called a “wonderful place.”
Mahankali, 13, was not following legislation up for debate this week, but said that he favored campaign finance reform over a litany of other bills, including decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. He said he practiced his spelling techniques for four hours a day during the week and eight to 10 hours on weekends.
“I focus on the work,” he said. “It’s mostly a year-round preparation, and any moment is valuable for preparation.”
Mahankali will study physics and math this summer and work on his tennis skills before entering Stuyvesant High School this fall.
But if he were in the state Legislature, he would advocate for a law that would ban smoking. “A law that would make smoking illegal … you know, Prohibition in the 1920s for alcohol, a similar situation for smoking would be beneficial.”