Sunshine State speller wins Scripps National Spelling Bee (includes video story)

Bruhat Soma, a 12-year-old from Tampa, won this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. The competition took place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

As the champion, Soma received a $50,000 scholarship award, the official championship trophy and other prizes. Holding his trophy up high as his family stood beside him, Soma was grateful for the opportunity.

“I finally won! I finally accomplished what I’ve been dreaming for since the third or fourth grade,” Soma said.

Two hundred and forty-five participants from countries including the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and many more entered the competition. Thirteen of those spellers were Florida locals.

The contestants competed through preliminaries, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Quarterfinalists received a $100 gift card and a medal. Semifinalists also won a number of different scholarship awards ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.

Cassandra Alonso is a senior TV and multimedia production student at Florida International University. She is well-versed in all areas of media and has been interested in it since she was young. She has worked on editing high school yearbooks and has a strong passion for writing, editing, photography, and social media. She creates her own content online and has enjoyed networking within FIU. She looks forward to taking leadership roles and loves working with other people. Her goal is to indulge in all aspects of the TV production industry, create her own productions, and expand her interests further.