Knowing how to spell the French word for miniature car earned a Poway teenager the title of spelling bee champion Thursday.
Eighth grader Elliott Husseman beat out 103 other spellers in grades six through eight from public and independent schools throughout the County to win the 50th annual San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee.
Husseman who said he is homeschooled admitted he was getting a little nervous as the competition neared the final round.
"I was just trying to calm down," the 14-year-old champion said. "When I got to the final five, I was thinking I could actually win this."
"It was a novel thought," he explained. "I did not go into this thinking I would win."
Because he successfully spelled voiturette, the French word for small car, he'll be on his way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland in May.
Students from San Diego County have brought home the national championship title in the past.
Snigdha Nandipati of Rancho Penasquitos won in 2012 when she correctly spelled "guetapens," meaning an ambush or trap.
Anurag Kashyap from Poway won the national spelling bee title in 2005.