Two Houston students place top 5 in national spelling bee

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Sunday, June 4, 2017
Houston-area students place top 5 in national spelling bee
Spring student finished in 4th place in Scripps National Spelling Bee.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Meet Shourav Dasari and Raksheet Kota. These two Houston-area spelling bee stars represented their city well at the national spelling bee.

The pair both placed in the top five at the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Dasari and Kota took the top and runner up spots at the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee, which is the largest local qualifying spelling bee in the nation.

From the Katy area, Kota said it was his first time to compete at the national spelling bee. He took home 5th place and $3,700 in prize money.

At 14 years old Kota says the challenge of such a prestigious competition helps him to grow even off the spelling bee stage.

"It's a lot of hard work. So, the main thing, I think, is that you develop a good work ethic that you can use anywhere in your life," Kota said.

From The Woodlands area, 14-year-old Dasari on the other hand has been to the Scripps spelling bee a total of five times. Twice to compete, and three times to watch his older sister compete.

Even though Dasari followed in his sister's footsteps, he definitely left his own mark at the national spelling bee when he spelled one word in three seconds.

"People are just like 'I saw you on ESPN. Good job!' It's kinda like, you get a lot of recognition for it. It's just something to be proud of," Dasari said.

Dasari didn't walk away with just bragging rights either. He finished in 4th place and took home $10,000 in prize money.

The two Houston spelling whiz kids say they're happy to be back home and are ready to take some time to relax.