In a dazzling display of linguistic prowess, 12-year-old Indian-American Bruhat Soma from Florida triumphed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, correctly spelling 29 words in just 90 seconds.

Soma’s stellar performance earned him a $50,000 prize, outpacing runner-up Faizan Zaki, who managed 20 words in the tense lightning round. His winning streak culminated with the word “abseil,” a mountaineering term.

In the thrilling tiebreaker, Soma spelled 29 out of 30 words correctly, while Zaki, from Texas, stumbled on four out of 25 attempts. This feat not only secured Soma the champion title but also surpassed the previous spell-off record set in 2022.

“Bruhat Soma rules the word! The Champion of the 2024 Scripps National Spelling Bee!” exclaimed the organizers. “He didn’t miss a word all week and takes home the Scripps Cup!”

Corrie Loeffler, executive director of the Bee, praised both finalists, saying, “Faizan and Bruhat were a powerful match, and the spell-off showcased their incredible abilities.”

Soma’s victory marks his third appearance at the Bee, previously competing in 2022 and 2023. He was coached by former speller Sam Evans and has won other prestigious spelling contests, including the Words of Wisdom Bee and SpellPundit Bee.

Indian-Americans dominated the finals, with five of the eight finalists hailing from this community. The Scripps National Spelling Bee, founded in 1925, remains the nation’s premier educational competition, combining high stakes with intellectual endurance.