5-Year Old To Compete in National Spelling Bee

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History will be made at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee when 5-year old Edith Fuller will become the youngest contestant in the competition’s history.

Over the weekend, little Edith earned her spot in the National Spelling Bee at the Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Oklahoma, beating out dozens of other spellers, some of whom are nearly 10 years older than her.

During the regional competition, Edith spelled 36 words correctly, including words like lieutenant, colloquial, sarsaparilla, and chauvinism. In the end, she spelled the word “jnana” to book her ticket to the finals in Washington D.C.

“I feel thankful,” Edith said after taking home a first place trophy that’s nearly as tall as she is.

Annie Fuller, Edith’s mother, says she discovered her daughter’s propensity for spelling last summer during a family dinner. Without teaching or preparation of any kind, Edith was able to spell the word restaurant.

“We knew there was something special there,” Fuller recalls.

Of course, Edith and her mother did prepare for the regional spelling bee. Aside from looking up any words she misspelled, Edith learned a lot from her studies.

“Learning the words was so educational. She was able to learn about different countries and cultures and different kinds of food,” Fuller explains.

During the regional bee, Edith not only survived 18 rounds of competition, but she was also able to sit through a competition that lasted more than four hours.

“She likes to move around,” Fuller says. “I’m surprised she sat still for so long.”

It may have helped that Edith instantly became a crowd favorite because of her size and age.

“It’s fun to share her with everyone,” said Fuller. “I knew she’d be a novelty, so I’m proud she held her own.”

Edith now has a few months to prepare for the National Spelling Bee, a two-day competition in Washington D.C. that starts May 30. On that day, it’s safe to say the youngest speller there will receive a lot of attention and have a lot of fans whether she wins or not.