Dev Shah, a 14-year-old eighth-grader from Florida, who correctly spelled the word “psammophile” has won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee, a prestigious contest where children of Indian origin have ruled the roost. Charlotte Walsh, also 14, from Arlington, Virginia, was the runner-up, having incorrectly spelled “daviely” as “daevilick”.
When asked, Shah instantly identified the roots of his word, but asked for all the information just to be safe, while smiling slightly in a way that suggested he was pretty sure he had it, the New York Times newspaper reported.
He correctly spelled the word to win the 95th national bee and the USD 50,000 prize on Thursday. “It’s surreal,” Shah said onstage after the confetti fell on his head and he lifted the trophy high above.
“I don’t know if it’s settled in. My legs are still shaking,” he said at the competition in National Harbor, Maryland. “I made a lot of sacrifices these last three months and I’m glad I made them,” Shah said. “I’m glad to now get back what I sacrificed.”