Colton Blinka, 15 • Current residence: Port Lavaca

• Occupation: Freshman at Calhoun High School

• Year won: 2013

• School: Travis Middle School

• Grade, age: Eighth, 14

• Winning word: Prevaricate

• Parents: Deann and Mark Blinka

Q:How did winning change your life? A: It allowed me to become a better speller and affected my grades in a good way. Because my picture was on the front page of the Victoria Advocate, I think it might have inspired some people from Calhoun to participate in the competition as well. Winning also allowed me to see Washington, D.C., which was really cool.

Q:How did winning affect the career you want to pursue? A: It really didn't; I still want to be a neurosurgeon.

Q:What advice would you give to this year's spellers? A: Don't take it for granted and don't stress out; enjoy the moment in Washington and the experience of actually winning.

Q:Are you still a good speller? A: Yeah,I think so. I'm participating in UIL (University Interscholastic League) Spelling for school.

Q:How far did you advance at the national spelling bee? A: I didn't score high enough on the written test on the second day, so I was taken out.