Winner Jacob Williams holds his trophy at the North Texas Regional Spelling Bee.

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A local 8th-grade boy said he was shocked by his win at the 2016 North Texas Regional Spelling Bee.

Jacob Williams of Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas, won the bee. The winning word was “versification.”

“I am very surprised actually,” said Williams. “I didn’t expect I would make it this far.”

In order to compete in the regional spelling bee, students had to win their schools’ bees. Winners from the schools were assigned to one of 25 area bees. The winner of each area bee was then sent to compete in the regional bee.

Williams competed against 23 other spellers at TCU for a chance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

While Williams said he is unsure how he would prepare for the national competition, he received a large dictionary to assist him.

While Williams stood in awe of his accomplishment, the runner-up, Kellen Jones, grinned ear-to-ear with excitement.

Runner-up, Kellen Jones, stands proudly with his prizes.
Runner-up, Kellen Jones, stands proudly with his prizes.

Jones, a 5th grader from Austin Elementary, said he owes his success to his grandmother, Denise Maserang.

“My grandmother always helps me study,” Jones said. “She is probably the one who got me this far.”

Jones said he plans to compete again next year and for many years to follow.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held from May 22-27.

Karrabi Malin, a member of the TCU College of Education, was the coordinator of the regional spelling bee. This was the first time Malin was in charge of the bee. She had previously been a judge.