Jun 1, 2023 - Sports

🐝 Florida teen wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Speller Dev Shah of Largo, Florida, participates in a final round of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Florida teen Dev Shah has won the 95th Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night after a nail-biting final with 11 other spellers.

Driving the news: The 14-year-old from Largo's winning word was "psammophile," a noun defined as an organism that prefers or thrives in sandy areas.

The prize: $50,000 cash, a commemorative medal, the coveted Scripps Cup and a lifetime of bragging rights.

Flashback: Last year's Bee ended in the competition's first ever spell-off with Harini Logan, 14, from San Antonio defeating Vikram Raju, 12.

  • Florida hasn’t had a winner since Nupur Lala from Tampa took the prize in 1999.

Zoom in: Shah, who attends Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, previously competed in 2019 (tied for 51st place) and 2021 (tied for 76th place).

  • When Shah isn’t busy winning the spelling bee, he likes to play tennis, practice the cello and solves math problems. Yes, for fun.

Fun facts from Bee week:

  • Over 200 contestants competed in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Surya Kapu, 14, from Salt Lake City, Utah was the only repeating finalist from the 2022 Bee. He finished in 3rd place.
  • There were several international competitors, including spellers from Guam, Canada and Ghana.
  • Texas had the largest representation with 21 spellers.
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