OXON HILL, Md. (Diya TV) — Six-year-old Akash Vukoti was 1 1/2 when his uncle asked him to spell the word “spoon” during a family trip to India. He got it right, and a year later, his parents decided to make the six-hour drive from their Cleveland home to northern Virginia so he could compete in his first spelling bee — during a time when he was still wearing diapers.
On Wednesday, he emerged as the youngest of the 285 competitors at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking the stage to spell his first word, “inviscate.”
His correct spelling of the word caused the crowd to erupt in cheer, and Akash adorably placed his hands over his ears to shield himself from the noise. He was ultimately eliminated in Round 3 after misspelling “bacteriolytic,” but not before receiving a standing ovation from the assembled crowd.
The youngster can read and write fluently in Telugu and Hindi, according to his profile on the spelling bee website. He is homeschooled, and spends at least one hour per day studying his words, according to Chris Weller of Tech Insider, who conducted an interview with the boy. Weller described a Skype interview the two had in March:
“In between fits of throwing himself into the sofa and covering the lens of his iPad (much to his father’s resistance), he delivered strings of complex sentences with minimal effort. He was also immensely polite, repeatedly calling me ‘Mr. Weller’ even after I told him ‘Chris’ was just fine.”
Akash, who also appeared on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots,” dreams of one day becoming an actor, and told the spelling bee crowd he knew and could have spelled every word from the first round of Wednesday’s competition.
“All of those words came from the list that everybody studied,” he said.
He doesn’t just study words, Akash also has a penchant for brand recognition.
“You can show me any logo and I can tell you what company it is,” he said.
His mother, Kala, is a former engineer and is the parent responsible for his homeschooling. His father, Krishna, is a pharmacist.
“He needs to be home-schooled,” Krishna said. “He’s very advanced. He’s like five, six, seven grades higher” than his peers.