Lori Anne Madison, spelling bee contestant, is unique in that she is the youngest ever contest for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, earning a chance to compete at only six years old.
Lori Anne Madison is more than a spelling bee contestant: she's an extremely gifted youngster. Reading her very first book, Dr. Suess' "Hop on Pop," at only two, she's steadily progressed to being a force in the upcoming spelling bee- and she isn't worried at all.
"I just do as much as I can," the bubbly Virginia girl told The Washington Post. "I don't stress out about it. Plus, I'm 6. I can always go back next year." Her goal is to win by the time she is eight or nine.
Lori Anne made headlines for qualifying for the national spelling bee by winning the contest in her home state last week Tuesday. She won the Prince William County, Va. bee by spelling the word "vaquero" correctly, but competition will be stiffer in Maryland- 277 opponents have years of experience competing for the $30,000 prize.
"It was shocking," Lori Anne's mother, Sorina Vlaicu Madison, told The Associated Press. "I didn't expect all the media attention. We're private people. … But I'm happy for her. She loves it and she does it because it's a passion, and we never push her into anything and want her to make her own choices."
Lori Anne certainly can be a lot to handle. She has to be homeschooled because even private schools can't keep up with her speedy learning. Her parents, a college health policy teacher and a trial lawyer, realized this early on.
"It's like arguing in front of the Supreme Court every day," her mother said. "You have to really have a good case about why she needs to do something."
Lori Anne, though only six, has a dislike of media attention already.
"I asked for no interviews, but the media seems to be disobeying me, and that's why we're looking snails and water slugs right now," said the young girl.
She has high aspirations though. Lori Anne wants to be an astrobiologist- a combination of her two favorite subjects, astronomy and biology.
"I'm going to sort of find life forms. And, plus, alien planets are new. But I need some slugs," she explained.