Indian-Origin Teen Wins US Spelling Bee, Takes Home $50,000 Cash Prize

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Indian-origin Dev Shah won the latest edition of the US’ prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee contest last night, taking away a $50,000 cash prize by correctly spelling the word “psammophile”.He is also the 22nd champion of the Spelling Bee with a South Asian heritage in the last 24 years.”It’s surreal. My legs are still shaking,” CNN cited the 14-year-old Florida boy as saying after his victory at the contest in the US state of Maryland.Charlotte Walsh from Virginia finished second.Dev’s winning word was ‘Psammophile’, defined by Merriam-Webster as an organism that thrives in sandy areas.He was one of the 11 finalists from among the 11 million who entered the spelling contest from across the world.For years, Indian-Americans have been dominating the National Spelling Bee which was started in 1925 and is open to students till the eighth grade.Harini Logan, an eighth-grader from Texas, won it last year by beating another Indian-American Vikram Raju.