Samir Sudhir Patel (born January 14, 1994), the son of Sudhir and Jyoti Patel, is a home-schooled academic competitor, from Colleyville, Texas, who won the North South Foundation National Spelling Bee, and has placed 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 27th, and 34th in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This record has led some to call him "the Dan Marino of Spelling.
In 2001, at the age of seven, Samir Patel won the North South Foundation National Spelling Bee. Two years later, at age nine, he placed third in the Scripps National Spelling Bee
in 2003 . He went out on the word boudin
spelling it boudane. The next year, he placed 27th, missing corposant
. In 2005, at age eleven, he achieved his personal best, placing second by missing Roscian
. He had aced the written test that year. In 2006, he placed fourteenth after misspelling eremacausis
. In 2007, his past record was such that he was asked to speak at the bee's post-competition banquet. However, he was eliminated in the fifth round after he misspelled "clevis
" as c-l-e-v-i-c-e. While leaving the stage, Samir was given a standing ovation. His mother attempted to appeal the decision, and a voice replay commenced in between rounds. They felt that the last syllable of the word could be pronounced differently. Eventually, she was denied. Samir would complete the eighth grade that year, the last eligible grade level for the competition, and would not be able to compete in the contest again. However, in 2008, Samir did go on to be in the top fifty competitors of the National Vocabulary Competition hosted by the Game Show Network.
Samir has the best track record of any non-winning contestant.
Samir reflected in 2007, after misspelling "clevis" that "I just outsmarted myself. It was an easy word. I just made a stupid mistake.
Samir Patel has been featured in various TV shows. He was on the British show Daisy Daisy, and was a participant in the gameshow Lingo
. He also appeared on Food Network
's Dinner: Impossible
. He was also the "Human Spell-Check" for Celebrity Spelling Bees in the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand.
In 2007, Samir Patel joined the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association
, a Christian debate organization. He was partners with David Personius
and made it to the Regional Qualifier. Despite a notably good record, Patel/Personius did not qualify for the National Championship tournament. Samir plans on debating in the NCFCA in 2008.
Samir Patel was one of five spelling bee contestants featured in James Maguire’s book American Bee