ATLANTA (WRBL) — Can you spell spumoni and nyctalopia correctly? 13-year-old Sai Lakkimsetti spelled these and dozens of other words correctly to become Georgia’s new spelling bee champion. 

Twenty spellers from all corners of the state and aged 10 to 14 attended the 62nd Annual Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) State Spelling Bee event. Sai from Stallings Island Middle School in Columbia County emerged as the winner after more than 100 words over 20 rounds. 

Sai and runner-up, 13-year-old Matthew Baber from Rising Star Middle School in Fayette County, will represent Georgia in Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship in National Harbor, Maryland from May 28 to June 2. 

Sai said he is excited and grateful for all his support. When asked about the national competition, he said “I’ll need to ramp up my preparation.”

Matthew agreed and said “It’s probably going to be fun, and it will just be great to be there.” 

Both got trophies, $1000, all expenses paid trips to the national championship, an iPad Mini, an online subscription dictionary, a one-year online subscription of Encyclopedia Britannica and one $100 U.S. Saving Bond. Sai also received a Kindle. All contestants received a GAE State Bee label pin.