LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Tristan Minguez and Majal Minguez, his mother, left for Washington D.C. last week to begin Tristan's journey as the Scripps Spelling Bee Champion.
Minguez said this once-in-a-lifetime experience was everything he hoped for.
"It's been pretty fun meeting new friends and spelling new words, but at the end, it's all about having fun," Tristan said.
Tristan made it all the way to Round 3, but his journey came to an end before the semi-finals.
"It's sort of upsetting that I couldn't go," Tristan said. "The second reaction I had is happy that I didn't hear the bell ring on my turn."
A bell is rung when the participant spells the word wrong.
Tristan didn't spell any words wrong, but points on his written test disqualified him.
"They pick the top 50 based on the preliminary round, and plus, you get points for every word you spell right," Majal said.
Tristan and his mom said the support the community has shown is very uplifting.
"It's been really great," Tristan said.
A total of $2,535 was donated to Minguez's GoFundMe account.
It covered airfare, lodging, and registration.
"When I look back at the video, I still cry, and I'm like, 'I cannot believe that we're doing this,'" Majal said..
Even though Tristan's spelling spree has come to an end, he's still staying to root on other spellers and tour Washington, D.C.
The grade cut off for the spelling bee is the eighth grade.
Sadly this will be Minguez's last year to participate.
He plans to coach the homeschool spellers next year.