Indian-American seventh-grader from Florida wins Scripps National Spelling Bee title

Bruhat Soma, a 12-year-old Indian-American seventh-grade student from Florida, has won the Scripps National Spelling Bee after he spelt 29 words correctly in the tiebreaker, maintaining the dominance of the children from the small ethnic community in the prestigious competition.

Bruhat emerged victorious in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, earning more than USD 50,000 in cash and other prizes.

This year’s contest came down to a tiebreaker in which Bruhat spelt 29 words correctly in 90 seconds, beating Faizan Zaki, who managed to correctly spell 20 words in the lightning round.

His championship word was “abseil”, which is defined as “descent in mountaineering by means of a rope looped over a projection above.” Organisers calling for a spell-off to determine a winner following 14 rounds over three days at the national championships.

Bruhat went first in the tiebreaker, and after he got through 30 words, it appeared he would be impossible to beat. Faizan’s pace was more uneven at the outset. He attempted 25 words but flubbed four of them.

“Bruhat Soma rules the word! The Champion of the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee! The boy with the unbelievable memory doesn’t miss a word all week and takes home the Scripps Cup!” the organisers said.

“Bruhat Soma correctly spelt 29 out of 30 words attempted to earn the coveted champion title and beat the standing spell-off record set by Harini Logan in 2022. Logan spelt 22 out of 26 words correctly during the competition’s first-ever spell-off,” the organisers said.

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