Sonia Ann Schlesinger, winner of the first spelling bee in Japan, will be shooting for the top when the three-day National Spelling Bee in Washington gets under way Wednesday.

If she does well in the championship, the 13-year-old American hopes to get on television by cracking the vaunted top 50.

"It's hard to get there, but that's when they start broadcasting on TV," the student at Nishimachi International School said last week. "I want to get there."