NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some of New York City’ smartest kids took part in a very big word game Wednesday.

As CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reported, the youngsters took part in the 50th Annual Daily News New York City Spelling Bee in downtown Manhattan.

Sixty-seven of the best spellers, ages 10 to 14, participated – representing public and private schools in the city’s five boroughs.

“I already know I’m a champion,” one participant said, “but to win this I would be very like happy.”

They were competing for a single spot in the National Scripps Spelling Bee in May. Another 67 students will do it again Thursday for the second and final spot.

“It’s exciting. It’s very tense,” said Abeda Choudhuri, 11. “Like, I’m kind of nervous, but I’m trying to shake it off.”

And there was plenty of suspense and anxiety.

“Oh my God, my heart is pounding so fast right now,” said eighth grader Kyle Garcia. “But I think I’m ready.”

All the kids are winners – as finalists from previous competitions.

But as always, some did better than others. And there were hugs from mom to make things better.

Michael David, 11, got tripped up on the word gregarious. and he was sad — but wise beyond his years.

“It’s not all about winning,” said Michael, a sixth grader. “It’s about having fun.”

The two winners of the Daily News New York City Spelling Bee will receive a trophy, an iPad, and travel expenses for the National Spelling Bee in Washington.

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