5-year-old to be youngest contestant in National Spelling Bee history
The contestants at the Scripps National Spelling Bee just keep getting younger.
Last year, the youngest speller was a 6-year-old Texas boy. This year, 5-year-old Edith Fuller will be the youngest person ever to compete at the spelling bee, Scripps spokeswoman Valerie Miler said.
Edith will be competing against teenagers up to three times her age, according to CNN affiliate KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The girl clinched her spot after spelling “jnana” correctly at the Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Oklahoma over the weekend, KJRH reported.
She also knocked out words such as Panglossian, Baedeker and sarsaparilla, spelling her way past the other 52 children at the competition.
Edith took home a trophy nearly as tall as herself.
She said her key to success involves learning from her mistakes.
“Mommy asks me a word, and every time I misspell one, I will look at it,” Edith said.
But the girl’s mother, Annie Fuller, said her daughter’s gift is also natural.
“She is very bright,” Fuller told KJRH. “We were amazed to find that she really has a knack for spelling.”
The National Spelling Bee is open to contestants who haven’t passed the eighth grade.
Last year’s youngest contestant, Akash Vukoti, who was then 6, captivated crowds at the National Spelling Bee. Akash told CNN last year that he wanted to be an astronaut — but changed his mind after meeting Steve Harvey and decided he would like to become an actor instead.
Akash was eliminated in the second round after stumbling on the word “bacteriolytic.”
The 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee starts May 28.