Dev Shah's parents were visibly emotional as they took the stage.
Indian-origin Dev Shah won the prestigious 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee last night, taking away a $50,000 cash prize by correctly spelling the 11-letter word "psammophile".
Dev, who had previously participated in the competition in 2019 and 2021, is also reportedly 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," the 14-year-old Florida boy said at the competition in the US state of Maryland.
Charlotte Walsh, 14, from Virginia finished second.
Dev's winning word was 'Psammophile', defined by Merriam-Webster as an organism that thrives in sandy areas.
"Psammo meaning sand, Greek? Phile, meaning love, Greek?" he asked as he identified the roots of the word, but queried about the details just to be safe, according to the New York Times.
His parents were visibly emotional as they took the stage.
Dev was one of the 11 finalists from among the 11 million contestants from across the world. The preliminary rounds began Tuesday, and the quarterfinals and semifinals were held on Wednesday.
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. The Spelling Bee was cancelled in 2020 but returned in 2021 with a few changes.
Harini Logan, an eighth-grader from Texas, won it last year by beating another Indian-American Vikram Raju.