Florida 14-Year-Old Wins National Spelling Bee

Dev Shah from Largo won for correctly spelling psammophile
Dev Shah holds the spelling bee trophy
Dev Shah holds the trophy after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee. E. M. Pio Roda

Dev Shah, a 14-year-old speller from Largo, Florida, won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the 15th round of onstage competition. The 95th competition was held May 31-June 1 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Shah correctly spelled “psammophile” to win the Bee. He had to spell or define 15 words in total to win. Other correct spellings he gave were for ardoise, cocomat, poliorcetics and schistorrhachis. (Trust us when we say we chose to cut and paste those words into this article.)

In case you’re wondering, a psammophile is an organism that thrives in sandy soil.

“When I heard the word it was like a feeling of relief because I was really stressed before then,” Shah told WFLA when arriving back home at Tampa International Airport, “but I studied the word before and I was confident I knew it.”

Shah was the only finalist from Florida.

The Bee is the nation’s longest-running educational program, having launched in 1925. The E.W. Scripps Company is the longtime steward of the Bee and owns Scripps Networks.

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