6-year-old heads to Scripps spelling bee

March 13, 2012 at 8:51 PM   |   Comments

MANASSAS, Va., March 13 (UPI) -- A 6-year-old Virginia girl has a chance to be the youngest Scripps National Spelling Bee winner, after beating out 21 other students to represent her county.

Lori Anne Madison, the youngest person in the 34th Prince William County Spelling Bee, told ABC News she was not intimidated by competing with older contestants.

"I have been in competitions with older kids before and I have many friends, some younger and some older, and I feel comfortable in any group," she said.

Madison said she started spelling and reading when she was 3 years old and finds it fun to be on stage.

"I started reading very early and I read a lot, and that helps," she said. "Plus, I work hard and love to find new interesting words in the dictionary."

If Madison wins the Scripps Bee -- where she will compete with spelling champions from across the globe for more than $40,000 in prizes -- she would be the youngest winner in the competition's history.

"I'm very excited," she told ABC News. "I want to have fun with other kids who love spelling and learn new words. And hope to do my best."

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