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Girl Genius: Meet the Amazing 6-Year-Old Who's Headed to National Spelling Bee

Illustration for article titled Girl Genius: Meet the Amazing 6-Year-Old Whos Headed to National Spelling Bee

What were you doing when you were six? Learning to spell words like "train" and "family"? Well, can you spell "underachiever"? You can if you're Lori Anne Madison, a six-year-old from Woodbridge, Virginia who is on her way to the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. Madison, who is believed to be the youngest contestant ever to compete at the National Spelling Bee, beat 21 other spellers in Prince William County to gain entrance to the big show. The charmingly serious girl is excited about it, though she can't spell out exactly why: "It's hard to put into words really . . . but at the least I felt great."

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Lori Anne also says she's not scared to compete against older kids: "It didn't make me nervous because ... I am accepted by any group. I have older and younger friends. My youngest friend is Reese; he's three years old. My oldest ones are Shelby and Walker, and they're eight." That's impressive, but not as impressive as the fact that she's been competing in spelling bees since she was three and a half.

As for how she got so good, Madison, who is home-schooled, says she has a good memory and her parents help her by quizzing her. Oh, and for the record, Madison says she wants to grow up to study astrobiology. These must be the kinds of things you can accomplish when you're not spending first grade trying to figure out how to poke your classmate with your pencil without getting caught or smelling your Mr. Sketch scented markers repeatedly while your teacher attempts to teach you basic math.

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Six-year-old girl in National Spelling Bee [Reuters]
6-year-old Virginia spelling bee champ poised to compete in national contest [Fox News]

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DISCUSSION

Is she punking people with the astrobiology comment? Because that totally seems to be one of those claims really smart people make to not-so-smart people to see if they catch on to the joke that it's a really fancy way to say she wants to study aliens when she grows up. Which, all things considered, is a pretty normal thing for a 6-year-old to say.

To state the obvious - crazy smart kid. I couldn't even tie my own shoes as that age. Hope she's like that because she's self motivated and it isn't because she's being pushed too hard. I'd hate to see her go all Margot Tennenbaum...