Snigdha Nandipati won the San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee on Tuesday with the word "wastrel," which means something rejected or discarded as useless or imperfect.
"I can't believe I won," said Nandipati. "I'm very excited because this was the first year my school participated."
Nandipati won the Long Beach Spelling Bee in 2009.
The competition started off with 95 seventh and eighth graders from schools across the county, county school officials said. The five finalists had to spell two words correctly in order to win the competition.
"My wife and I are very proud of Snigdha and all of her hard work," said Snigdha's father Krishnarao Nandipati. "She studied over 20,000 words for this competition. She deserves this."
As the winner, Nandipati will receive an all expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. for her and a chaperone to the national spelling bee being held June 1-2, 2011.