Indian-American wins the National Spelling Bee for the 22nd time in 24 years.
At a regional spelling bee in Orlando, Florida, 15 months ago, Dev Shah was disappointed since he didn’t achieve his goal of being selected for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Nevertheless, Dev’s perseverance paid off, as he won this year’s National Spelling Bee.
Over the previous 24 years, Indian-Americans have dominated the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is noteworthy. Indian-Americans have won 22 of the last 24 championships despite making up just 1% of the country’s population, demonstrating their superior linguistic and spelling capabilities.
Dev Shah, a 14-year-old from Largo, Florida, initially participated in the national bee in 2019, but his spelling career was interrupted when the 2020 bee was postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. He didn’t advance to the live finals of the virtual 2021 bee. Dev’s path in spelling took a difficult turn when he was forced to compete in the Orlando region because his prior regional sponsor was not there.
Dev decided to try again despite his initial hesitation and started a workout regimen to improve his concentration. He also lost about 15 pounds while preparing. Dev’s perseverance paid off as he won his regional competition and proved how well-versed he was during the preliminary rounds of the national bee.
Finally, Dev boldly spelled his words on the night of the competition and eventually won the National Spelling Bee championship. For a speller of his caliber, “psammophile,” the winning word, presented no challenge. Scripps introduced a buzzer for the spell-off tiebreaker during the tight competition, temporarily confusing Dev. But he swiftly and effortlessly spelled the word he was given.
Scott Remer, Dev’s coach, emphasized the significance of grit in identifying excellent spellers. A major milestone in Dev’s journey—which he acknowledged as a never-ending learning process—was winning.
Shradha Rachamreddy was eliminated on the word “orle,” and Surya Kapu was eliminated on the word “kelep” as the field shrank to the last four spellers. The winner received more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. Shradha Rachamreddy and Surya Kapu tied for third place and split a $12,500 reward. There were seven more Indian-Americans among the final twelve winners, in addition to Dev, Shradha, and Surya. Vikrant Chintanaboina, Aryan Khedkar, Arth Dalsania, Tarini Nandakumar, Sarah Fernandes, and Pranav Anandh were among them.
Dev is the 22nd champion of Indian ancestry in the last 24 years. Deval, his father, moved to the United States from India to pursue his education. Dev enthusiastically engaged in scholastic competitions held by the North South Foundation, a charity that offers scholarships in India, and had an early aptitude for word recall.
The finalists demonstrated their considerable knowledge as they worked through a difficult word list compiled by the Scripps word panel throughout the tournament. Exciting terms like “traik,” “carey,” and “katuka” were given to the contestants, adding to the difficulty of the short but challenging words.
Dev expressed his gratitude for the word panelists’ efforts in extensively searching the dictionary to find challenging terms to put the contenders to the test.
After earning the title, Dev stated that he was ready to prioritize sleep because the rigorous preparation had caused him to have many restless nights. Dev’s triumph demonstrates his devotion to learning the craft of spelling as well as his perseverance, memory, and recall skills. Three-time Scripps National Bee competitor Dev Shah came out on top, taking first place in the competition. 11 million children from all over the world entered spelling bee competitions this year, but only 11 finalists advanced to the final round. On Tuesday, the preliminary rounds began, and on Wednesday, the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Balu Natarajan was the first Indian to triumph at the National Spelling Bee in 1985 after accurately spelling the word “milieu.” Words like “moorhen,” which describes an aquatic bird with distinctive physical traits, and “Murraya,” which describes a species of tropical tree found in Asia and Australia and distinguished by their pinnate leaves and imbricated petals, were correctly spelled by succeeding champions as examples of their proficiency.
The accomplishments of previous winners Vanya Shivashankar, Gokul Venkatachalam, Sriram Hathwar, Ansun Sujoe, Arvind Mahankali, Snigdha Nandipati, Sukanya Roy, Anamika Veeramani, Kavya Shivashankar, and Sameer Mishra have contributed to the rich history of the National Spelling Bee by showcasing their command over words like “scherenschnitte,” “nunatak,”
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|Age 14, Grade 8