Six-Year-Old Girl Becomes Youngest Competitor Ever in the Scripps National Spelling Bee
At the age of six, Lori Anne Madison just became the youngest contestant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The home-schooled student from Woodbridge, Virginia out-spelled 21 elementary and middle school students and emerged victorious by spelling the word “vaquero,” a Spanish word for “cowboy” — while dressed like a bee. Yeehaw! It’s on to nationals!
After winning the regional competition in Prince William County, Madison will now move on to Washington, D.C., where she will go head-to-head with 277 students from around the country. All of whom will be older than she is, but no less prepared.
“My parents quiz me. I read lists and I have a really good memory,” Madison, who is home-schooled, told Fox’s WTTG-TV.
Madison’s mother said that she had a strong feeling that “vaquero” would pop up at some point, so they made sure to practice that one. This is actually her second local spelling bee; she competed last year in another local bee and finished in the top five.
While the record-keeping for the Scripps Bee is described by MSNBC as “incomplete,” it looks like Madison is the youngest competitor since the bee was established in 1925, and by quite a bit. The youngest player on record was eight years old.
For winning the regional bee, Madison brought home a Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Barnes & Noble gift cards, and a great, big trophy. The Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place May 29 to June 1.
Congratulations, Lori Anne Madison!