Akash Vukoti, who celebrated his 14th birthday this May 29, is one of the Indian-origin participants in the Scripps Spelling Bee 2023. He is the sole contestant to have competed 6 times in the 98-year history of America’s Olympics of spelling events. Blessed with photographic memory, he started his journey as a spelling bee prodigy when he was in diapers. His first-ever appearance in a spelling bee contest happened in 2012 when he was only 2. Isn’t it unbelievable?
The ‘Diaper Kid’, as he was fondly nicknamed then, has outgrown his age as an actor and TV personality in both the United States and India. “He started reading before he turned 2. He has been so much into the alphabet and numbers since his infancy. He can proficiently communicate in English, Telugu and Hindi,” said his father, Krishna Vukoti who hails from Andhra Pradesh, India. no one has yet broken Akash’s record of being the youngest contestant in the Scripps Spelling Bee. He first competed in the national event when he was only 6.
Born in Maryland where his parents had initially settled in, Akash Vukoti is one of the four Indian-origin children featured in Spelling the Dream, an award-winning Netflix documentary released in 2022. The documentary chronicles the events and decodes the mystery behind Indian Americans’ decade-long dominance of the national spelling bee.
Akash now calls himself a Texan as he lives in San Angelo. Harini Logan who won the 2022 Scripps Spelling Bee trophy is also from Texas. He also appeared in documentaries by BBC and HBO. It was 2017 when he was featured in one of the episodes of the BBC documentary titled The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed. At a tender age, he was roped in for TV commercials for IBM and Amazon Kindle.
The fame of the ‘Diaper Kid’ soared when he was inducted into MENSA, the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world. After he was adjudged as a young scholar of the Davidson Institute at the age of 5, he became a national sensation. The Davidson Institute offers scholarships to highly accomplished children and teenagers. This prestigious recognition earned him invitations to appear on TV shows in America and other countries.
Starting from the age of 6, he began to be featured as a guest on Steve Harvey Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Harry Show, Fox & Friends, The Preachers, Good Morning America, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Canada’s CTV, Australia’s the Morning Show, and Tv9 in Hyderabad, India. He was fortunate enough to appear three times as a guest on Little Big Shots, a popular American TV series produced by Ellen DeGeneres and hosted by legendary comedian Steve Harvey. Little Big Shots showcases abilities and accomplishments of the most gifted young children from different parts of the world.
“There is more in his treasure trove. As a TV celebrity, he got the opportunity to participate in Dancing with the Stars: Juniors in 2018. The dance competition that premiered on ABC featured American celebrity children. Interestingly, Akash was the youngest contestant in the dance reality show. Among the awards and honors he has received so far, the Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 from the government of India, and the Special Recognition Award 2017 from the Telugu Association of North American are must mentions,” said Sourav Agarwal, the Editor of Travel Beats.