'Unbeatable' Kid Wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

Bruhat Soma won the title Thursday night in a spell-off
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 31, 2024 12:00 AM CDT
'Unbeatable' Kid Wins Scripps National Spelling Bee
Bruhat Soma, 12, of Tampa, Fla., reacts after watching his video during the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 30, 2024.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Bruhat Soma was unbeatable before he arrived at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and neither the dictionary, nor his competitors, nor a lightning-round tiebreaker challenged him on the way to victory. Bruhat spelled 29 words correctly in the tiebreaker, beating Faizan Zaki by nine, to win the title on Thursday night, the AP reports. He receives a trophy and more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. The 12-year-old seventh-grader from Tampa, Florida, had won three consecutive bees before arriving at a convention center outside Washington for the most prestigious spelling competition in the English language.

"I always want to win. And this was, like, my main goal," Bruhat said. "It didn't matter if I won all those other bees. This is what I was aiming for. So I'm just really happy that I won this." Coming into the competition, Bruhat won the Words of Wisdom bee hosted by Scott Remer, a former speller, coach and study guide author. He won the SpellPundit bee organized by that study guide company. And he won the first-ever online bee emceed by Dev, last year's Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. His last loss was in September at the WishWin senior spelling bee. He missed on "Gloucester," a cheese named for the city in England. "After that, I guess I just went on a winning streak," he said. As for the winning word Thursday night, USA Today explains that since the bee ended in a spell-off, there wasn't one.

(More Scripps National Spelling Bee stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.