Apart from being a superb speller, what does it take to win a spelling bee? According to eight-year-old Evangeline Bodhuri, becoming a champion requires confidence, enthusiasm, and lots of practice.

And she should know. Bodhuri took home the trophy for the primary age group of the Spelling Bee of Canada this year, capturing the title on Sunday. She spelled ‘sense’ to secure the win, successfully avoiding other variations of the word, like ‘cents’ and ‘scents.’

Encouraged to enter by her parents, Bodhuri wasn’t sure she’d win out over the competition.

“I thought that there would be even better spellers,” she told CTV News Channel on Monday, sitting next to a massive silver trophy that’s almost taller than she is.

Nevertheless, Bodhuri was very excited and thankful to win.

Now, the young girl has future ambitions within the competition: when she’s older, she says she’d like to run the spelling bee, reading the contestants their words.

Bodhuri also offered some advice for other aspiring young spellers: “You have to practice hard, be really into it, and be confident that you can do it,” she said.

The champion knows the drill. Bodhuri said she would practice after school, in the evenings and sometimes on weekends, both with the help of her parents and on her own.

The Spelling Bee of Canada finals took place Sunday at a downtown Toronto hotel.

Over 3,000 youth participated in the regional competition last month, with only 84 moving on to battle words for the championship title and over $10,000 in cash prizes. Contestants were divided into three age groups: primary, junior and intermediate.

Founded in the GTA in 1987, the SBOC operates primarily in Ontario, although contestants from other provinces are welcome to register.