WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. -

A Brevard County student came close to winning it all at the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night.

Mary Horton, 13, ended up tied for fifth place at the annual event.

The competition featured nearly 300 students from across the country.

Horton made it to the finals before stumbling on the word "aetites," which is a hollow piece of rock. Horton spelled the word "a-o-t-i-t-e-s."

Horton, who is home-schooled, cruised along in the competition, correctly spelling many other words including "shibuichi," "logodaedaly," and "guillemet."

Her fifth place tie finish makes her eligible for a cash prize of $2,500.

This was Horton's second appearance at the national bee, held just outside Washington, D.C.

The event itself ended in a tie for the first time in more than 50 years. Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe correctly spelled so many words Thursday that the Scripps National Spelling Bee had to declare them both winners.