An 11-year-old Danbury girl survived a marathon 32 rounds of spelling that ended when she got "sargassum" correct to win a regional spelling bee.
Anika Malayappan, of Stadley Rough Elementary School, won the Hearst Media Services Regional Spelling Bee in Danbury on Thursday night and qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.
The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that students from 31 different schools competed in the bee, which was one of three regional competitions held in the state this year.
The contest went on for so long on Thursday night that the judges went through their list of words and had to choose more from a dictionary.
Anika's brother, Raul Malayappan, was a five-time winner of Hearst's regional spelling bee in Danbury.