(CNN) - Snigdha Nandipati, 14, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night by spelling "guetapens," which means an ambush, snare or trap.
"I was just taking it one word at a time," the eighth-grader from San Diego told CNN on Friday morning. "I just wanted to get each word right. I didn't really think about winning, really."
She said that properly spelling the winning word, which is derived from French, was not difficult. She had seen the word before and knew it, she said.
Nandipati didn't truly register her victory until the confetti started falling, she said.