Dev Shah is the 2023 National Spelling Bee Champion

The 14-year-old won $50,000 and the coveted trophy. His winning word was “psammophile.”

GettyImages-1495243927 dev shah national spelling bee 2023
Dev Shah of Largo, Florida in the final round of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Gaylord Convention Center on June 1, 2023 in Maryland (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Snigdha Sur


June 2, 2023


7 min

The spelling bee — allegedly the longest-running educational program in America — is back, and so are its precocious spellers. They can spell, they know the definitions of arcane words, they play the cello, they want to become astrophysicists. What can’t they do?

The all-American institution, founded in 1925 and now in its 95th year, has notoriously had at least one Indian American spelling bee winner — sometimes multiple — almost every single year since 2008, except for 2021. One could almost call it not just the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but the Scripps National Indian American Spelling Bee. This year is no different. Of 231 spellers, 11 made it to the finals, of whom 10 were Indian American.

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