Huffpost Sports

Lori Anne Madison, Youngest-Ever Speller, Disappointed By Mistake At National Spelling Bee (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, reaches for the microphone during the second round, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.
Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, reaches for the microphone during the second round, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

OXON HILL, Md. — The youngest speller in National Spelling Bee history said Thursday that she knew the word she misspelled during the competition, but she was too tired, bored and stressed out to concentrate when she stepped to the microphone.

Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Lake Ridge, Va., fell four points short of making the semifinals at the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee. If she had spelled "ingluvies" correctly during Wednesday's preliminary rounds – she began the word with an "e" – and gotten one more word correct on a computer test, she would have achieved a qualifying score.

"I was really disappointed that I misspelled the word. I knew the word," Lori Anne said Thursday. "It was just too bad that I misspelled the word."

Admittedly overwhelmed by the media attention, the home-schooled prodigy held court with reporters for 25 minutes Thursday morning. Although she wasn't always forthcoming with her answers, making clear she'd rather be outside playing with her friends. Her blue eyes lit up when talking about her experience at a barbecue on Monday.

"I blew some absolutely huge bubbles, like this big!" she said, holding her hands a foot apart and reminding everyone of her age.

Waiting for her turn to spell wasn't so much fun. She hadn't gotten enough sleep and came close to nodding off, and the hour-and-a-half wait "seemed like two millennia," she said.

"I was just stressed. It was a really, really long wait," Lori Anne said. "Overall, it was just boring. Really boring! Really boring!"

She did enjoy interacting with the other spellers – many of whom are more than twice her age and twice her size – and she gets a thrill out of hearing a word she knows and spelling it correctly. She pledged to return next year.

"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.

The news conference was at times awkward, with Lori Anne squirming in her chair when asked to talk about her hobbies and the interesting people she's met this week. She fielded a question from a Finnish reporter about how to improve the popular online game Angry Birds, which was developed in Finland.

"If anything, they should add some more birds," Lori Anne said.

She also subjected spelling bee director Paige Kimble, who won the bee in 1981 by spelling "sarcophagus," to some good-natured ribbing.

"When you won, the words were much easier," Lori Anne said. "Someone won on `therapy.' I mean, come on!"

___

Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at . http://twitter.com/APBenNuckols

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Lori Anne Madison, 6, steals the show in Round Two of the National ...

Spelling bee loses young sensation Lori Anne Madison in second ...

6-year-old charms crowd but bows out of National Spelling Bee ...

VIDEO: Spelling bee darling Lori Anne Madison narrowly misses ...

Lori Anne Madison, 6, to Compete in the National Spelling Bee

Lori Anne C. Madison - Scripps National Spelling Bee

Lori Anne Madison Is 6-Year-Old Spelling Bee Superstar | Bleacher ...

So close! Youngest speller trips up on 'ingluvies' - US News - MSN

Spelling bee: Lori Anne Madison, 6, is youngest participant ever ...

Lori Anne Madison of Virginia is youngest contestant in National ...

Youngest-ever speller disappointed by mistake

Youngest Speller Is Out Of The Bee; Tripped Up By 'Ingluvies'

Spelling Bee words: Could you spell them?

Lori Anne Madison

6-year-old Lori Anne Madison, spelling bee qualifier, isn't feeling any pressure

Lori Anne Madison, 6, youngest ever in Scripps National Spelling Bee

National Spelling Bee Kicks Off

Geniuses: born or made?

Six-year-old girl competes in National Spelling Bee

From Our Partners