Dev Shah Is Spelling Bee Champ
By ARUL LOUIS
ANNAPOLIS, MD (IANS) – Keeping up the dominance of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US by Indian American children, 14-year-old Dev Shah from Florida has won the competition by correctly spelling the word “psammophile”.
He carried home the trophy and the $50,000 prize at the finals held on June 1 night in National Harbor, MD, after he spelled the word for an animal or plant that thrives in sandy soil.
Of the 231 national contestants, the 11 finalists left standing in three days of grueling competition, 10 were of Indian origin.
After nine were eliminated, Shah went into the final round against 14-year-old Charlotte Walsh from Arlington, Virginia, beating her with a bathypitotmeter (a device for measuring water temperature and current) before clinching the award by spelling the final word correctly.
Shradha Rachamreddy and Surya Kapu tied for third place with a $15,000 prize.
According to the Scripps website, Dev Shah’s hobbies include reading, playing tennis, mastering the cello and solving math problems with his friends. His favorite athlete is tennis ace Roger Federer, and his favorite movie is “La La Land.”
Shah is a class 8 student from Largo.
Schistorrhachis, aegagrus, and were among the words he spelled correctly through 15 rounds reaching the top.
Thousands of students from around the US and some foreign countries compete in local and regional competitions before the field is narrowed to 231.
Since Balu Natarajan won it in 1985, 21 Indian-origin children have followed him, monopolizing it from 2008 to 2018.
Harini Logan was the winner last year resuming the Indian lead, after a 2021 win by a non-Indian.