By Cheyenne Kent
Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison admitted her disappointment but she “was happy” misspelling herself out of the third round of 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee. If she had also spelled correctly one more word on her computer test for the competition, the youngest ever contestant still would have qualified, CBS News claimed.
“I was just stressed. It was a really, really long wait,” the Lake Ridge, VA champion speller said, adding she nearly nodded off. “Overall, it was just boring. Really boring! Really boring!”
Madison, the show’s star attraction on Wednesday after spelling the word “dirigible” bowed out after spelling E-N-G-L-U-V-I-E-S in the second round. Unfortunately, the word was “ingluvies” and begins with the letter I. Ingluvies means the esophagus of a bird― the tube leading from the throat to the stomach.
Madison said waiting wasn’t fun, but “the thrill” out of spelling and of listening to words she already knows is what will most likely spur her to return to the spelling bee next year. Even celebrities such as ESPN Samantha Steele (spelling bee contestant #279) turned to Madison for help.
“I just love spelling, so I’m really excited to go to next year’s bee — if I go, which is probably going to be a yes,” she said.
To Madison, the fun is also in mingling with the other spellers who are usually twice her age. She admitted she’d rather be outside playing with her friends like any little girl, and she bubbled over when she spoke of her experiences at the Monday barbecue.
“I blew some absolutely huge bubbles, like this big!” the home-schooled child prodigy said.
Madison won her spot in the national competition as the winner of the 34th Prince William County Spelling Bee this year. The winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee gets nearly $40,000 in cash and prizes as well as its prestigious title.