THE WOODLANDS, Texas- A teenager from The Woodlands created quite the buzz as a finalist in the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee earlier this month, and it turns out being a spelling bee champ is a family affair.
Shourav Dasari, 14, is a familiar face at the Scripps bee. This past competition was his third appearance.
Shourav, a ninth grader at Brash McCullough Junior High, was a crowd favorite especially after his “drop the mic” moment on stage.
In less than five seconds, he was able to spell “mogollon” correctly without even looking back at the judges.
Although he didn’t win the spelling bee, his family couldn’t be more proud. But his spelling ability doesn’t come as a surprise.
Shaurov followed his big sister, Shobha, into spelling. Together, they have won dozens of bees.
At a contest in the Pearland Independent School District, the judges were forced to surrender after two days & more than 80 rounds.
“We never misspelled,” said Shobha. “They ended up giving up and sending us both to regionals.”
Shobha, 16, backs up her brother from the audience.
"I try doing a telepathy thing,” said Shobha. “I start spelling it in my head.”
Spelling bee preparation is also a family affair. Their father cheers from the sidelines and their mom, Usha Chava, serves as coach and prepares daily worksheets.
“Maybe 20 sheets at a time, and I would quiz them,” said Usha.
All that hard work has paid off, literally. One of their prizes was $10,000 in cash.
But for a teenager, the fame may be even better.
“It’s like a big deal, said Shourav. “In school, they watch it.”
Shourav also sports a signature look, his nike hoodie, helping to move spelling into the world of elite sports.
"There's not many things you can do as a kid that get you on ESPN," he said.
Shourav is now retired from the spelling bee world, like his sister, because once you hit high school you are too old for the competition.