Akash Vukoti spelled his first word (“spoon”) at about the same age that most kids say their first word. As the 6-year-old recounted to Vox, “I was very little, about one and a half. My uncle gave me a spoon…and that’s it. That’s how it started.”
Things moved pretty swiftly after that first spoon, however. His parents caught on to his talents and signed him up for his first spelling bee a year later. Here’s a very cute picture of what a 2-year-old looks like competing in a spelling bee:
A year after that (that’s 3 years old, mind you) Vukoti was inducted into the high-IQ society Mensa, Tech Insider reports. And just to bring us completely up to speed on what is assuredly a resume far more impressive than yours, Vukoti can now speak three languages and will be the youngest competitor at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee — the second-youngest being two 8-year-olds.
Vukoti also appeared on Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots,” which features pocket-sized guests with notable talents and personalities. He out-spelled Harvey — but not without first giggling at the meaning of “derriere.”
Outside of spelling, Vukoti likes dancing and “swimming in the pool.” He lives with his parents and sister in San Angelo, where his mom home-schools him. In videos posted of him online, he is, like most 6-year-olds, adorably fidgety but doesn’t hesitate to demand alternate pronunciations.
Although the majority of kids Vukoti will be competing against in the National Spelling Bee are twice his age, he repeatedly assures interviewers he isn’t especially nervous.
You can watch Vukoti and the other 284 Scripps competitors spell their way to victory starting today on ESPN. Here’s to hoping Vukoti is asked his “favorite word” at some point in the competition: “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.”
How old are you again?