Tensions were high in Chattanooga where the final round of the local spelling bee was held.

Host and Times Free Press reporter, Ellis Smith, says kids from all over the region come to participate, whether they're home schooled, attend private schools or public schools.

He says about 50 of the best of the best in the Chattanooga area took the stage Saturday,

"A lot of these kids have practiced and practiced and practiced: studying lists of words; studying Latin origins, Greek origins. definitions. It's really a lot of preparation that goes into this, and you can tell on the stage there's a lot of pressure but there's a lot of happiness when they get the word right," says Smith.

In addition to going to the national spelling bee in Washington, the winner also gets a $500 check and a $100 savings bond.