Sukanya, who is an eighth grade student at Abington Heights Middle School in Newton Ransom, Pennsylvania, won the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition on Thursday night.

Sukanya represented the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in the competition. This was her third year competing in the national finals.

Thirteen spellers competed in the Championship Finals on Thursday night, which was live on ESPN. The primetime broadcast lasted 13 rounds.

More than 250 champion spellers traveled to the nation's capital this year to participate in the competition, which lasted 20 total rounds of spelling.

The Bee awarded more than $85,000 in cash and prizes to the spellers. It also included a $30,000 cash prize and engraved trophy for the champion.

The prize for the champion included a $2,500 US savings bond and a complete reference library from Merriam-Webster, a $5,000 scholarship from Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation and $2,600 in reference works and a lifetime membership to Britannica Online.

Rich Boehne, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company declared Sukanya the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and presented her with the famous loving cup after the winning word was correctly spelled, the company report said.

It's kind of surreal, said Sukanya. It's just amazing. It's hard to put into words.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The purpose of the Spelling Bee is to help students improve on their spellings, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts of English and develop the language correctly.