National Spelling Bee 2017: Homeschooled 5-Year-Old Girl Becomes Youngest Qualifier, Beats 50 Spellers Twice Her Age
A 5-year-old girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma made a mark in this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. Edith Fuller won the contest in her region Saturday which earned her a spot in the finals.
Fuller beat 50 other kids, including some who were twice her age, during the regional rounds. She managed to spell 37 words correctly with "jnana" as her winning word. It's Sanskrit for acquired knowledge through meditation.
Fuller, who is homeschooled, is expected to compete for the finals in Washington, D.C. sometime between May 30 and June 1, People reported. She is currently training for this big day with her mother Annie.
Have you met our latest spellebrity? Edith Fuller is a five-year-old from @kjrh2's local program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she'll join us in Washington, D.C., this May! She is the youngest speller in history to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and we're excited to have her for our 90th national #spellingbee.
A post shared by Scripps National Spelling Bee (@scrippsnationalspellingbee) on Mar 7, 2017 at 12:57pm PST
Fuller's mom said they discovered her knack for spelling only last summer while dining at a restaurant, which was the word she first spelled out loud. Her mother revealed no one taught her this word, according to Tulsa World.
Since then, Fuller's mom prepped her up through reading so she could learn to understand more words. Fuller was also able to learn about different cultures in the process.
"My mommy asked me words, and every time I misspelled one, I would look at it," the 5-year-old said in describing her process in an interview with KJRH. The site also listed down all the correct words she spelled during the competition including Panglossian (extreme optimism), Eocene (the period between the Paleocene and Oligocene epochs), fennec (a small fox) and Weimaraner (a dog breed).
Fuller was a crowd favorite early in the competition due to her age and size. She was the smallest speller on stage and she was also the meekest. She calmly sat on her chair as she waited for her turn while the other students were fidgeting.
The young girl is thrilled to be competing in Washington this summer. Learn more about Fuller and watch her spell in the video below.