14-year-old wins Scripps National Spelling Bee for 'psammophile'

This year, the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee championship title went to Dev Shah, a 14-year-old from Largo, Florida. Dev first accurately spelled words like "bathypitotmeter," "aegagrus," and "schistorrhachis" before winning the competition by spelling "psammophile"–a word of Greek origin that refers to organisms that live in or are adapted to sandy environments.

This isn't his first rodeo, as he's competed in the Bee twice before. He participated in 2019 and 2021, where he tied for 51st and 76th places, respectively. This time, securing the top spot, he takes home the $50,000 cash prize and his own Scripps Cup trophy.


He was among 11 contestants, aged 11 to 14, who advanced to the finals of this year's event after beating out a field of 220 other competitors participating in the three-day contest, held in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.

This year's total field comprised 94 girls, 134 boys and two spellers who identify as nonbinary. One competitor did not specify a gender.

The bee is televised live. The excitement is heightened by TV commentators who describe the action as contestants wrack their brains to come up with the correct spellings for often-obscure words.