Michaella Bostrom has been crowned winner of the 5th Japan Times Spelling Bee after besting 37 other students from around the country, booking a ticket to the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington on her third try.

"I'm surprised!" the 14-year-old student at Kakegawa International Christian School in Shizuoka Prefecture said after receiving her trophy Saturday. "I thought there was a possibility, but didn't really expect to win. I'm happy."

"Spelling is my favorite subject," the American added.