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Victory for Tampa Bay Student at 2024 Scripps Spelling Bee



tampa bay student wins spelling bee 2024

Bruhat Soma spelled 29 words correctly in the tiebreaker, beating Faizan Zaki by nine words, to win the title on Thursday night. 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.

Soma attends Turner/Bartels K-8 School in Hillsborough County.

Bruhat went first, and after he got through 30 words, it appeared he would be impossible to beat. Faizan’s pace was more uneven at the outset. He attempted 25 words but flubbed four of them.

Shortly after Bruhat was showered with confetti and handed the trophy, Faizan was in tears at the side of the stage, accepting hugs from other spellers. A few minutes earlier, he had hugged his good friend, Shrey Parikh, after Shrey was eliminated onstage.

“He’s competitive,” Bruhat’s coach, 16-year-old former speller Sam Evans, said before the finals. “I mean, he likes winning.”

Last year’s winner was from Largo. Reported by WFLA with the help of The Associated Press.

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