COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- The Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off this week in National Harbor, Maryland, and almost 300 spellers are competing for the trophy -- including a 13-year-old girl from Naples.
This year, 291 spellers from across the country will compete for that championship trophy. 73 of them have spelled in the bee before.
13-year-old Surya Dodia is a 7th grader at North Naples Middle School, and she says she's been working hard to prepare.
“Probably go over all the Round 2 spelling and vocabulary. I've been working on that a lot. But I think I'll just need to get a lot of sleep and relax."
If you'd like to cheer on Surya, preliminary rounds for her group start Wednesday morning, and you can watch it on ESPN 3. She is Speller #188.
The final round begins Thursday at 10 a.m. and airs live on ESPN 2.
**UPDATE** -- Surya correctly spelled her first word in the preliminary round: "tuatara". She then correctly spelled the word "filbert" in the next round.
However, she did not score enough points in the written test to advance to the final round Thursday.