Bruhat Soma Reigns Supreme as Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion

Bruhat Soma Reigns Supreme as Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion

Bruhat Soma, a 12-year-old Indian-American seventh-grade student from Florida, has emerged as the champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. He clinched the title after correctly spelling 29 words in the tiebreaker round. Bruhat's win continues the tradition of Indian-American dominance in this prestigious competition.

This year’s contest was intense, culminating in a thrilling tiebreaker round. Bruhat competed against Faizan Zaki, who managed to spell 20 words correctly. In a 90-second lightning round, Bruhat spelled 29 words accurately, securing his victory. His final word was 'abseil,' which means 'a descent in mountaineering by means of a rope looped over a projection above.'

For his outstanding performance, Bruhat was awarded over $50,000 in cash and other prizes. The competition’s organizers praised his exceptional memory and spelling skills, noting that he didn't miss a single word throughout the week-long event. Bruhat also set a new record, surpassing the previous spell-off record of 22 out of 26 words set in 2022 by Harini Logan.

Runner-up and other finalists

Faizan Zaki, the runner-up from Allen, Texas, received $25,000 for his effort. The third place was shared by Shrey Parikh from California and Ananya Prassanna from North Carolina, each receiving $12,500. The final round showcased the talents of eight finalists, five of whom were Indian-Americans.

Bruhat’s journey to victory

Bruhat’s triumph in the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee marks his third attempt at the competition. In previous years, he tied for 74th place in 2023 and 163rd place in 2022. His dedication and hard work, supported by his coach, 16-year-old former speller Sam Evans, have been pivotal in his success. Bruhat’s journey included winning other spelling competitions like the Words of Wisdom Bee and the SpellPundit Bee.

Prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee

Launched in 1925, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. It was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic but resumed with strong participation in subsequent years. This year's competition featured 245 spellers, including 65 returning participants and 24 spellers with family members who had previously competed.

Legacy of Indian-American spellers

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has seen significant participation from Indian-Americans, with 29 champions emerging from the community since 1999. Last year, Indian-American Dev Shah won by spelling “psammophile.” The competition has become a high-pressure endurance test, with participants spending months in preparation.


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