Judges may know her as #speller80 but her name is Anisha Rao.
The soft-spoken middle schooler from Dublin fought her way through hundreds of other spellers to place in the final 16 of the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, which will be televised live on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. PT.
"I was really happy to see that I made it to the finals," Rao, a 7th grader at Eleanor Murray Fallon Middle School, said in an interview for top 40 finalists.
Rao said she had put in a lot of hard work and she hopes it pays off. Many other competitors bring a good luck charm to the bee, but Rao said she just did more studying of words.
"I've gone through the most important lists, consolidated word list, words of wisdom and some others. I try to make sure I know them and learn language roots to better guess words I don't know," Rao said.
The words that put Rao in the final 16 aren't common words that anybody would see everyday: geusioleptic, escamotage, ducat and neopterygian.
Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series, among other series like Throne of Glass, Keeper of the Lost Cities and the Ranger's Apprentice, according to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Rao advanced to Thursday's final rounds by spelling two words correctly on stage over two days and faring well on a written spelling and vocabulary test.
The winner of the spelling bee will take home $40,000 and a pizza party for their school.
— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 31, 2018
The Associated Press contributed to this report.