• Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023


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Florida teenager Dev Shah wins US Spelling Bee with ‘psammophile’

Dev Shah, 14, receives the trophy after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee competitionReuters

A teenager from Florida has won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the United States.

Dev Shah, a 14-year-old student from Largo, spelled “psammophile” correctly to win the 95th national bee and the $50,000 (£40,000) prize.

Charlotte Walsh, also 14, from Arlington, Virginia, was the runner-up, having incorrectly spelled “daviely” as “daevilick”.

A psammophile is an organism that lives in sandy areas.

Eleven students made the finals after 11 million people entered spelling competitions, according to the organisers.

“It’s surreal… my legs are still shaking,” Dev said as he collected the trophy on stage, joined by his family. His mother said she was “very proud” of him.

He had previously entered the competition in 2019 and 2021, finishing tied 51st and tied 76th respectively.

On his way to the final he correctly spelled words such as bathypitotmeter, schistorrhachis and rommack. He also correctly answered a question, saying that a magician would be most likely to practice legerdemain.

Charlotte correctly spelled words such as akuammine, sorge and collembolous on her route to the final, which took place in National Harbor, Maryland.

The national spelling bee began in 1925.

Charlotte Walsh gives Dev Shah a congratulatory hug after he won the Scripps National Spelling Bee


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