6-year-old charms crowd but bows out of National Spelling Bee

It was the ignoble “i” that did her in.

Lori Anne Madison, 6, was youngest student on record to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, was on pace to become the darling of this year’s bee and seemed poised to make a run for the semifinals, her stated goal for the competition. But in the third round — after confidently spelling “dirigible” in her first round on stage — she got tripped up.

The home-schooled second-grader from Woodbridge started off “ingluvies” with an “e.”

Paige Kimble, the director of the bee, thanked the young competitor for her charming addition to the bee. “And it was close,” she said.

Fifty spellers will move on to Thursday’s semifinals, which will be televised on ESPN. The finals Thursday night will also be on the sport’s network at 8 p.m.

Vanya Shivashankar, a 10-year-old from Olathe, Kansas, achieved a perfect score in both the two on-stage rounds and the written test on Tuesday.

Local talent will be led by Jae Canetti, 10, of Reston and Jack Nolan, 13, of Elkridge.


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