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14-year-old Dev Shah wins Scripps National Spelling Bee contest

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Dev Shah, a 14-year-old student from Pinellas Park, Florida, on Thursday, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, securing a cash prize of $50,000 and millions of congratulations from all over the world.

Shah won the contest by correctly spelling a tongue-twister psammophile.

At least 11 million entered the competition from all across the globe with only 11 participants finding a slot in the final.

Shah said at the competition in National Harbor, Maryland that “it’s surreal. … My legs are still shaking.”

The quarterfinals were held Wednesday whereas the preliminary rounds were held Tuesday.

In the final, Dev Shah accurately spelt schistorrhachis, aegagrus, rommack and tolsester.

Dev, in the word meaning round, chose the right definition of chiromancy, identifying it as someone who tells fortunes using lines on the palm of the hand

His competitor was also a 14-year-old named Charlotte Walsh from Merrifield, Virginia, as the final two standing. His competitor earned $25,000 for reaching second place after correctly spelling akuammine, collembolous and Jhangar.

The 231 participants from elementary and middle school students in the competition were as young as 9 and as old as 14.

According to the EW Scripps Company, the “organisation that operates the bee, there were contestants from every US state, and 11 students from the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, the US Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.”

More than 180 were National Spelling Bee first-timers, and 49 were returning contestants.

Dev previously had tied for 51st place in 2019 and finished tied for 76th in 2021.

The student at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School in Pinellas Park, Florida, also won $2,000 in book money to be donated to the school of his choice, a $2,500 cash and reference book award from Merriam-Webster, and $400 worth of reference material from Encyclopedia Brittanica.

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