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Florida student earns top prize at National Spelling Bee 

The winner of the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee is 14-year-old Dev Shah of Largo, Fla., who has earned a $50,000 cash prize and the Scripps Cup in addition to bragging rights.

Shah’s winning word? Psammophile, a noun that is used to describe animals and plants that prefer to live in sandy soil environments. This is his third time competing in the competition.

Since 11-year-old Frank Neuhauser of Kentucky won the inaugural Spelling Bee in 1925, spelling “gladiolus” and earning $500 in gold as well as a trip to the White House, another changing aspect of the contest that has also evolved over the years is the difficulty of the winning words themselves. The dictionary used is published by Merriam-Webster and contains 1,155 words.