Plano ISD 12-year-old Faizan Zaki places 2nd at the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Faizan Zaki has just placed runner-up in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

He attends Rice Middle School in Plano ISD. 

Zaki was nine words away from first place, but as runner-up he won $25,000.


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He made it to the final round and beat out more than 240 spellers. 

Faizan Zaki and Bruhat Soma from St. Petersburg, Florida competed through 14 rounds of spelling and ultimately tied, but then Zaki fell to second after the lighting round. 

This is Zaki’s third time at the Scripps spelling competition, with his first time being in 2019 when he was just 7 years old. He finished in 21st place last year.


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The competitor’s age ranges from 8 to 15, so Zaki could always return next year and go for that gold. 

A few critics said the spelling bee should have gone to more conventional rounds before heading to a quick spell-off.