Mark De Los Santos, an eighth grader who won the Fort Worth area regional spelling bee in 2010 and came in second place last year, won the event again on Wednesday, and advances to compete at the national level.
He powered through 15 rounds of competition and eventually won the championship after spelling "retrocedence" and "desertification."
Runner-up Benjamin Benjadol, 11, of Wilshire Elementary School in Euless, misspelled "litany" before De Los Santos spelled the winning words.
De Los Santos wins an expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 27 through June 1 in Washington, D.C., plus a trophy, dictionary, subscription to Encyclopedia Brittanica Online, $200 cash, a $100 award and $20 Amazon gift card.
De Los Santos can also audit a TCU course for free. Since he hopes to one day be a neurosurgeon, he said he wants to take a science class.