Dev Shah, a 14-year-old Indian American boy from Florida won the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2023 with the prize money of $50,000.
He correctly spelled the word, “psammophile”, meaning an organism that prospers in sand, in the 15th round of the competition.
He trounced Arlington Virginia’s eighth-grader Charlotte Walsh, 14, who came second when she misspelled “daviely,” a Scottish word.
“They’ve all been in many online bees and many Scripps National Spelling Bees, and I felt like a spark and a camaraderie between all of us,” Shah said after winning the top title.
The Covid-19 pandemic interrupted the 14-year-old’s spelling career and prevented him from winning his regional spelling bee in 2022. But Shah made it to the toughest and most prestigious competition after his third and final attempt at the national championship, and he ultimately won the trophy.
This year, 94 girls, 134 boys, and two spellers who identify as non-binary participated in the contest. One participant did not identify a gender. The bee was telecast live.