A diligent speller whose favorite English word is "floccinaucinihilipilification," or "the action or habit of estimating something as worthless," proved his exceptional talent by correctly spelling the championship word "snood" to clinch the 6th Japan Times Bee on Saturday at Japan Times Nifco Hall in Tokyo.

Sean Fogerty, a 13-year-old student from Robert D. Edgren High School in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, defeated 40 rival spelling wizards representing schools across Japan for this year's event.

"I can't believe it . . . I can't comprehend it," Fogerty said after winning the trophy. In the two previous contests he took part in, he fell short of the final round.