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A 12-year-old from Florida has won this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee

Bruhat Soma, 12, of Tampa, Fla., stands on stage with his family after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday night.
Mariam Zuhaib
/
AP
Bruhat Soma, 12, of Tampa, Fla., stands on stage with his family after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday night.

The winner of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee has been crowned.

Bruhat Soma, a 12-year-old from Florida, bested the competition Thursday with his spelling of “abseil,” a word used to describe descending a vertical surface area with a rope attached to one’s body.

Soma spelled 29 out of 30 words correctly in Scripps’ second-ever spell-off, in which competitors have 90 seconds to spell as many words given to them as possible.

“Well, I’m really excited,” Soma said shortly after being named the winner. “It’s been my goal for this past year to win, and I’ve been working really hard, so I just put a lot of time into spelling, and then now I’m really happy that I won. Like, I really can’t describe it. I’m still shaking.”

This was Soma’s third year in the national spelling bee. Last year, he tied for 74th place, and in 2022, he tied for 163rd place.

“At just 12 years old, Bruhat impressed with his display of knowledge and composure,” Scripps CEO Adam Symson said. “Scripps is proud to celebrate his achievement and that of all the spellers. Their remarkable determination and persistence are a big part of what makes the Bee such an iconic cultural touchstone, with millions of fans tuning in live to connect with these students – embracing them in their defeats and celebrating them in their victories.”

Soma will receive $50,000 in cash from Scripps, a medal and a trophy, among several other prizes.

Faizan Zaki of Texas came in second place and won $25,000, while Shrey Parikh and Ananya Prassanna, of California and North Carolina, respectively, tied for third place. They will receive $12,500 each.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Ayana Archie
[Copyright 2024 WSHU]