A Winston Academy student will represent Mississippi at this year's National Spelling Bee competition in Washington, D.C.
It took 26 rounds before 13- year-old Dev Jaiswal became the state's spelling bee champion.
"Eleatic, may I have the definition?"
Several hundred words were spelled before Jaiswal spelled the final winning word.
Jaiswal said winning the contest has taught him to never give up.
“I am very excited, I think even everyone here, when you learn words and stuff it’s going to help you later in life with school,” Jaiswal said. “You're going to be able to recognize more, and more than just words. I think it teaches you how to work hard and persevere behind your goals.”
Twenty-six students from schools across the state competed in the state's spelling bee. The competition was sponsored by the Mississippi Association of Educators. The president of the organization Joyce Helmick said the contest has helped students with their reading and writing skills.
"It showcases their talents,” Helmick said. “It gives them an opportunity to study not just the spelling of words, but origin, definition using the words in sentences. It’s a literacy exercise for our students.”
Jaiswal will be heading to Washington, D.C. in May to compete again for the national title. He represented the state in the National Spelling Bee in 2012.