Education

With winning word 'psammophile,' 14-year-old from Florida wins National Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee
Dev Shah, 14, from Largo, Fla., reacts as he wins the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass | AP Photo

Dev Shah, a 14-year-old from Florida, has won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Shah's winning word was "psammophile," a noun that is used to describe animals and plants that prefer to live in sandy soil environments, according to Merriam-Webster.

Shah, an eighth-grader from Largo in the Tampa Bay area, also spelled "poliorcetics," "aegagrus" and "schistorrhachis" correctly to take home the $50,000 cash prize.

Shah previously competed in the National Spelling Bee twice – in 2019, when he tied for 51st place and in 2021, when he tied for 76th place.

Dev Shah, 14, from Largo, Fla., reacts as he wins the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Dev Shah, 14, from Largo, Fla., reacts as he wins the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Nick Wass/AP

Aside from spelling, Shah also loves math and social studies, and likes to solve math problems and watch historical fiction movies in his free time. He also plays tennis and the cello. His favorite athlete is Roger Federer and his favorite movie is La La Land. His favorite game is Wordle.

The bee began in 1925 and is open to students through the eighth grade.

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