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Tampa seventh grader wins the 2024 National Spelling Bee

A young person receives a trophy on stage during a spelling bee
Bruhat Soma receives his trophy after winning the National Spelling Bee | Screenshot from the Associated Press YouTube Stream of the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Tampa Bay’s Bruhat Soma triumphed in the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee, clinching victory by correctly spelling 29 words in a thrilling 90-second spell-off. This win marks the second consecutive year a student from the Tampa Bay area has taken home the trophy.

Bruhat, a seventh-grader at Turner/Bartels K-8 School in Tampa, Florida, outshone 245 competitors, making this the largest field since 2019. Participants, aged 8 to 15, hailed from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and international regions including the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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The competition, held in National Harbor, Maryland, showcased exceptional young spellers from diverse backgrounds, highlighting the global reach and cultural diversity of the event.

“When they first announced there was a spell-off, my heart was pumping so fast but then I realized – because I was practicing spell-offs for six months – I realized that, ‘Maybe I have a shot at winning,’” Bruhat told CNN’s John Berman and Kate Bolduan Friday morning. “And I did.”

The word that crowned Bruhat champion: abseil. To officially get the big prize, Bruhat correctly spelled habitude, indumentum, dehnstufe, Okvik and Hoofddorp, and correctly defined “sine qua non,” reports CNN.

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