Fort Worth 8th grader advances to National Spelling Bee after 63-round regional contest

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FORT WORTH -- Maitri Kovuru won the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee in Fort Worth on Thursday, after a record-breaking 63 rounds and six hours of competitive spelling.

Kovuru, an 8th grader at McClean Middle School, advanced to Washington, D.C. to take part in the national competition.

She and another student were doing so well in the contest, the judges had to bring in new words and a written spelling test.

In the end, Kovuru, 13, was crowned the winner.

“I didn’t think I would win because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this close and it’s like everything paid off,” Kovuru told CBS 11 afterwards.

Kovuru also won $200 for her first-place finish.