PHOENIX - A 12-year-old Gilbert girl is headed to Washington, D.C. to represent Arizona in the 87th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Nila Dhinaker out-spelled 26 other competitors on Saturday to win the 2014 AEF Arizona Spelling Bee held in Phoenix.
Nila correctly spelled the word “salvific” in the 21st round to win the Bee, sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation, according to a news release.
Nila attends Cooley Middle School in Gilbert and this was her first year making it to the Spelling Bee. She has participated in the spelling bees every year since the fourth grade, according to the release.
Runners-up included Christopher O’Connor of Tucson, Sean Bolus of Keams Canyon, Isha Paode of Chandler and Jacob Rimmer of Phoenix.
Nila will head to Washington, D.C. for the National Spelling Bee which will be held May 25 - 31.
In addition to the all-expenses paid trip for two to the nation’s capital, Nila won $800 cash, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and a Rosetta Stone language course compliments of Harrison Middleton University.
The Arizona Spelling Bee will be broadcast on April 11 at 9 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.