Akash Vukoti

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Akash Vukoti
Akash Vukoti.jpg
Akash Vukoti in 2017
Born (2009-05-29) May 29, 2009 (age 10)
Years active2012–present

Akash Vukoti is an American spelling prodigy and TV personality. He was the first-ever first grader to qualify for and compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and first appeared in the NBC TV show Little Big Shots in March 2016.[1][2][3][4][5]

Academic Achievements[edit]

Akash competing at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Akash competed in his first spelling bee when he was 2 years old.[6]  He was inducted into American Mensa at the age of 3 and became a Davidson Young Scholar at the age of 5.[7] Akash became the first-ever first grader to compete in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the age of 6 years, in 2016. [8][9][10][11] Akash later competed in the 2018 and 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bees.[12][13] He also qualified for the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2020.[14] However, the competition stands suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.[15][16]

TV shows[edit]

Akash was featured on several TV shows[17], such as Little Big Shots in Season 1 (2016), Season 2 (2017) and Little Big Shots UK (Episode 4) in 2017.[18][19] He was also featured on the Steve Harvey talk show,[20][21] Jimmy Kimmel Live!,[22][23][24] and The Preachers[25] in 2016. He also appeared as a guest on the Harry show in 2017.[26] Akash was interviewed on Australia’s The Morning Show of Seven Network in 2019.[27] He was even interviewed by TV9 Telugu in Hyderabad, India that first aired on January 14,2020[28][29]. On September 25, 2018, Akash was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,[30][31] a spin-off of Dancing with the Stars. His professional partner was Kamri Peterson and the couple were mentored by Witney Carson. The trio were eliminated 7th from the competition on November 18th, 2018.

Akash has also done commercials for IBM[32], Amazon Kindle[33] and the Scripps National Spelling Bee.[34]

Documentaries and films[edit]

Akash has been featured in HBO and BBC documentaries. Episode 231 of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel titled “Brain Games and Mental Athletes” featured Akash and aired on June 21, 2016 on HBO.[35] The BBC documentary The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed showcased Akash's talent in the episode "Learn" and aired on October 9, 2017 on BBC Two.[36]

Akash was featured in the award winning documentary film Spelling The Dream[37][38][39][40][41][42][43] that is scheduled to release on Netflix on June 3, 2020.


Akash receiving the Global Child Prodigy Award from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Kailash Sathyarthi

2017 Telugu Association of North America Special Recognition Award Spelling & Language [44]
2017 North America Telugu Society Honorary Title

Dhaarana Vaamana

2020 Global Child Prodigy Awards Global Child Prodigy Award 2020 Language [46][47]

Personal Life[edit]

Akash Vukoti is the son of Chandrakala Jandyam and Dr. Krishna M Vukoti, who immigrated to the United States from Andhra Pradesh, India. Akash has an elder sister Amrita, who is also a Davidson Young Scholar and a member of Mensa.[48] She has also competed in the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee.[49][50]


  1. ^ Sullivan, Bartholomew (May 25, 2016). "6-year-old Texan misspells word, ending his spelling bee competition". USA TODAY.
  2. ^ French, Megan (May 26, 2016). "Scripps National Spelling Bee's Youngest Contestant Akash Vukoti Was Too C-U-T-E: See Him in Action". US Magazine.
  3. ^ Weller, Chris (March 30, 2016). "Meet the 6-year-old genius who will steal the show at this year's national spelling bee". Business Insider.
  4. ^ Moore, Jack (May 26, 2016). "This Six-Year-Old Was the First Star of the 2016 National Spelling Bee". GQ.
  5. ^ Why 6-Year-Old Spelling Bee Whiz Akash Vukoti Became a Global Sensation - POPSUGAR, retrieved 2019-12-08
  6. ^ "MastiSpell". MastiSpell 2012.
  7. ^ Weir, Kelli. "G-E-N-I-U-S: Jackson Township siblings are among youngest Mensa members". The Repository. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  8. ^ Shapira, Ian. ""A 6-year-old charms the National Spelling Bee before getting eliminated"". Washington Post.
  9. ^ Farrington, Dana. ""6-Year-Old May Be Out Of Spelling Bee, But This Kid Is A Winner". NPR". NPR.
  10. ^ "Vukoti wins San Angelo Area Spelling Bee". San Angelo. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  11. ^ Gaitan, Michelle. "San Angelo Spelling Bee names new winner".
  12. ^ Kirkl, Justin (2018-05-31). "The Kids Are A-L-R-I-G-H-T: Inside the Journey to Scripps' National Spelling Bee". Esquire. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  13. ^ NUCKOLS, BEN. "Speller balances bee with reality TV, social media stardom".
  14. ^ "Log into Facebook | Facebook". m.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  15. ^ "Scripps National Spelling Bee". spellingbee.com. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  16. ^ Lee, Alicia. "National Spelling Bee canceled for the first time since WWII". CNN. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  17. ^ "Akash Vukoti". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  18. ^ Barrett, Daija (April 21, 2017). "Spelling Bee Whiz Akash Vukoti Returns to Little Big Shots". ConchoValley Homepage.
  19. ^ Paschal, Nick (April 24, 2017). "Steve Harvey Schools Spelling Bee Champ on 'Words From the Hood'". Yahoo.
  20. ^ "Precocious local speller drawing national attention, studying hard". gosanangelo.com. March 12, 2016.
  21. ^ Gowra, Nikhita (2017-05-02). "W-o-n-d-e-r kid". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  22. ^ 13th Annual Jimmy Kimmel Live Spelling Bee, retrieved 2019-12-08
  23. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel's Spelling Bee Competition Is Extra Challenging, Thanks to Guillermo". Hollywood Reporter. June 3, 2016.
  24. ^ Seemayer, Zach (June 3, 2016). "Jimmy Kimmel Hilariously Challenges Spelling Bee Co-Champions to an Epic Showdown". ETOnline.
  25. ^ "TV Show | Spelling bee | The Preachers FOX TV SHOW 2016". YouTube. 2016-07-11.
  26. ^ Connick Jr., Harry, Harry's Spelling Bee Competition, retrieved 2019-12-08
  27. ^ "Akash Vukoti is the youngest competitor ever at the Scripps National Spelling Bee". 7news.com.au. July 3, 2019.
  28. ^ The Youngest Spelling Bee Champ | Akash Vukoti Exclusive interview | TV9, retrieved 2020-04-18
  29. ^ Vukoti, Akash. "latest". AKASH VUKOTI. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  30. ^ "Akash Vukoti - Dancing with the Stars". abc.com.
  31. ^ Sutton, Samuel (December 10, 2018). "San Angelo whiz kid Akash Vukoti talks Dancing with the Stars and future plans". gosanangelo.com. Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  32. ^ Vukoti, Akash. "IBM Commercial". AKASH VUKOTI. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  33. ^ Vukoti, Akash. "Amazon Kindle". AKASH VUKOTI. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  34. ^ Vukoti, Akash. "Scripps Spelling Bee ESPN". AKASH VUKOTI. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  35. ^ Brain Games & Mental Athletes: Real Sports Trailer (HBO), retrieved 2019-12-08
  36. ^ "The Human Body: Secrets of Your Life Revealed - Gallery". BBC Documentary.
  37. ^ "Netflix to release documentary featuring San Angelo native, Akash Vukoti". ConchoValleyHomepage.com. 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  38. ^ "Breaking The Bee". IMDB.
  39. ^ Goodrich, Barry (April 3, 2018). "What It Takes to W-I-N". clevelandmagazine.com/.
  40. ^ "Breaking The Bee". clevelandfilm.org.
  41. ^ Raj, Yashwant (May 27, 2018). "Breaking the bee: Indian kids are spelling out a new sport in America". Hindustan Times.
  42. ^ Webb, Daisy. "Breaking the Bee: How a 20-year Indian-American dynasty was captured on film". filmdaily.co.
  43. ^ "Spelling the Dream". Spelling the Dream. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  44. ^ "TANA Patrika - January 2018". drive.google.com. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  45. ^ "NATS Akshara Deepika - June 2017". drive.google.com. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  46. ^ Rathore, Reena. "Young Indian American Geniuses Honored with '2020 Global Child Prodigy Awards'". India West.
  47. ^ Jha, Ankur Kumar (2019-12-31). "KIIT Presents Global Child Prodigy Awards 2020 Honoring Top 100 Prodigies". thelogicalindian.com. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  48. ^ "Weir, Kelli (April 1, 2015). "G-E-N-I-U-S: Jackson Township siblings are among youngest Mensa members". Canton Rep".
  49. ^ "2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Round by Round Results".
  50. ^ "Word Whiz Kids Tap Memory Tricks at Spelling Bee".