TAMPA, Fla. — The 94th Scripps National Spelling Bee gets underway next week, and it's the first fully, in-person bee since 2019.
234 spellers, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Schools in Europe will be joined by spellers from the Bahamas, Canada, Germany and Ghana.
Among them will be 10-year-old Bruhat Soma.
The 5th grader at Turner Bartels K-8 school in New Tampa is quietly preparing for battle.
"Well, I'm, I'm good at it since I'm practicing, but I don't know if I'm the best like in the whole US or something," explained Bruhat.
Don't let his quiet, sweet demeanor fool you. I really do think it's part of his strategy. This kid is ready.
His teacher said he's built for competition.
Laurie Gonzalez said, "He likes to read the back of the dictionary where all the big words are. And then, in addition to that, he's like our math star as well. So he's multifaceted. It's not just spelling. He's like a superstar mathematician. He said he's blessed with the gift of memory. That's what his father told him. So it's adorable. But he also puts in the hard work. So we don't just rest on our laurels."
Bruhat likes letters and numbers, in fact, his favorite word combines both.
"Well, I like the longest word in the dictionary. It is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis," said Bruhat.
" What does that even mean," I ask.
"It means something related to a volcano. And like, lava coming is something related to a volcano," Bruhat said.