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Meet the youngest speller at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee

Meet the youngest contestant competing in the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee. He knows he's the youngest because he Googled himself.
Vihaan Kapil poses with two Spelling Bee mascots.
Posted at 4:17 PM, May 31, 2023

This year’s youngest Scripps National Spelling Bee participant just turned 9.

"I am 9 years old and my birthday was on March 15," Vihaan Kapil, a 3rd grader at Agamim Classical Academy in Minnesota, said.

When we asked if he knew he was the youngest speller this week, his response was, "I searched it up on Google so, yes I did."

Kapil made it through the classroom and regional rounds before being invited to the national level.

"In the end, I got to go against my best friend because he was the only one there and he got wrong on 'separation,'" he said. We asked if they were still friends. He said, "yeah."

"Never in my wildest imagination, I thought that this would happen," Shima Gopinathan Aruketty, his mother, said. "I'm happy and proud he could make it in his young age."

More than 220 spellers were invited to this national competition from across the country.

"Unfortunately, it was not his time, he could not memorize the meaning of 'idiosyncrasy' and that's where he had to be eliminated from the competition," Aruketty said.

Vihaan plans on studying again 'soon' for next year.

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