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

Loading Slideshow...
  • Lori Ann Madison

    Six-year-old Lori Ann 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.

  • Lori Anne Madison

    Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, Va., takes her seat as the youngest speller in the National Spelling Bee, before competing in the Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 30, 2012.

  • Mignon Tsai

    Mignon Tsai, 12, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, reacts as she misspells a word during round five of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2012.

  • Lena Greenberg

    Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, waits to compete in the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, May 30, 2012. She spelled her word correctly.

  • Naomi Li

    Naomi Li, 14, of Center Valley, Pa. thinks hard about how to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Dev Jaiswal

    Dev Jaiswal, of Louisville, Miss., spells his word during the second round of National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Sam Lowery

    Sam Lowery, of Charlestown, Mass., spells his word in the air during round two of the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Dylan Bird

    Dylan Bird, 13, of Pebble Beach, Calif., listens to fellow spellers during the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Emily McGraw

    Emily McGraw of Lafayette, La., reacts as her word is read during the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Kayla Sheffield

    Kayla Sheffield, 13, of Fort Myers, Fla., wears different colored shoe laces as she waits to spell her word during the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Jae Canetti

    Jae Canetti, 10, of Fairfax, Va., celebrates after spelling a word correctly during the fourth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2012.

  • Abigail Spitzer

    As other spellers react, Abigail Spitzer, 13, of El Paso, Texas, holds her sign over her face after correctly spelling a word during the fourth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2012.

  • Abigail Violet Spitzer

    Abigail Violet Spitzer of El Paso, Texas, covers her face as she concentrates during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Lena Greenberg

    Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, spells out a word in the air during the semifinals of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, May 31, 2012.

  • Snigdha Nandipati, Lena Greenberg, Arvind Mahankali

    From left, Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, Calif., Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, and Arvind Mahankali, 12, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., celebrate being named as three of the nine finalists at the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Nicholas Rushlow

    Nicholas Rushlow, 14, of Pickerington, Ohio, reacts after spelling a word correctly during the sixth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md., making the five-time bee attendee one of Thursday night's nine finalists.

  • Jennifer Mong

    Jennifer Mong, 12, of Newfoundland, Canada, reacts to spelling the word "vellon" incorrectly during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Vismaya Kharkar,

    Vismaya Kharkar, 13, of Bountiful, Utah reacts to spelling the word "allothogenic" correctly during the semifinal round of the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Snigdha Nandipati

    Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, Calif., spells a word correctly in front of the judges during the sixth round of the semifinals at the National Spelling Bee, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Frank Cahill

    Frank Cahill, 14, of Parker, Colo., reacts after spelling a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Gifton Wright

    Gifton Wright, 14, of Spanish Town, Jamaica, spells a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Nicholas Rushlow

    Nicholas Rushlow, 14, of Pickerington, Ohio, reacts after spelling a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Arvind Mahankali

    Arvind Mahankali, 12, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., spells a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Lena Greenberg

    Lena Greenberg, 14, of Philadelphia, reacts after spelling a word incorrectly and being eliminated during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Nicholas Rushlow

    Nicholas Rushlow, 14, of Pickerington, Ohio, reacts after spelling a word incorrectly and being eliminated during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Stuti Mishra

    Stuti Mishra, 14, of West Melbourne, Fla., uses an air keyboard as she spells a word during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Arvind Mahankali

    Arvind Mahankali, 12, of Bayside Hills, N.Y., reacts after spelling a word incorrectly and being eliminated during the finals of the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Snigdha Nandipati, Sujan Nandipati, Krishnarao Nandipati,

    Snigdha Nandipati, right, 14, of San Diego, reacts with her father Krishnarao Nandipati, left, and brother Sujan Nandipati, after winning the National Spelling Bee Thursday, May 31, 2012 in Oxon Hill, Md.

  • Snigdha Nandipati