Jerome Ng was first up to the microphone to spell in the West zone - and also the last one standing.
The 10-year-old Primary 4 pupil from Henry Park Primary School beat 38 others in his zone to claim the title of north zone champion of The Big Spell.
At Saturday's zonal round of the RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, the other best spellers were Wong Yi Hao, 11, from Rosyth School; Eunice Goh, 10, from Tao Nan School, and 12-year-old Thomas Ang from St Joseph's Institution Junior.
They outspelled the 126 pupils who earned their zonal spots through a written preliminary round on March 1 involving some 1,400 participants.
The contests were held simultaneously at the Woodlands Regional Library for the north zone, ITE College Central for the south, Tampines Regional Library for the east and the MOE Edutorium for the west.
During the rounds, some of the pupils cleared tough words such as "dichotomy", "cantankerous" and "circumlocutory", which elicited gasps from the audience.
RHB Banking Group and The Straits Times are co-organising the competition for the third time, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. It is supported by tech company HP, National Library Board and ITE College Central.
Log on to www.straitstimes.com/big-spell-2014 for more on the spelling competition.