6-year-old is youngest competitor at the Scripps National Spelling Bee

Edith Fuller was just 5 years old when she qualified for the competition.

ByABC News
May 30, 2017, 4:23 PM

— -- The youngest person ever to qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been preparing to compete against kids twice her age with 20 minute study sessions as often as five times per day.

Edith Fuller, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, qualified for the spelling bee in March as a 5-year-old. This week she is facing off against competitors from 8 to 15 years old at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, D.C.

"She is just excited to be here," Edith's dad, Justin Fuller, told ABC News. "And she understands that it's a contest. and she has a desire to do well in it."

Edith, now 6, is home-schooled. Her dad and her mom, Annie Fuller, have been using study materials provided by Scripps to help Edith prepare.

"She's been going over the spellings and the meanings of the different words and trying to cover the word roots too," Justin Fuller said. "My wife has been the one who has worked with her the most."

Edith, who plays piano and sings in her church's children's choir, out-spelled more than 50 competitors in March to win the 2017 Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Tulsa.

No.19 Edith Fuller, 5, spells a word during the 2017 Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Tulsa, Okla., March 4,2017, she eventually won the competition.
Tulsa World

The win propelled Edith into the record books and sent her to the national bee, where she is facing off against 290 others.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee had two previous 6-year-old competitors, in 2012 and 2016, but Edith is younger than they were at the time, according to Scripps.

Edith, a kindergarten student, completed a written spelling test today and will take the stage for the first time around noon tomorrow. The spelling bee is single elimination.

She is being cheered on at the national bee by her parents, three younger siblings and grandfather. The family arrived in the D.C. area this weekend.

"There are a lot of fun things to do, and she's met a lot of people," Justin Fuller said. "That's a big part of it for her."

Valerie Miller, a spokeswoman for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, said Edith is a star even among her competitors.

"They have autograph books called bee keepers, and everybody wants to get Edith's autograph," Miller told ABC News. "Everybody wants to meet her."

The final round of the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee will be broadcast live by ESPN on Thursday starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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