6-year-old girl becomes latest 'spellebrity'

Edith Fuller is Scripps National Spelling Bee's youngest competitor

Photo by Jacquelyn Martin
Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

OXON HILL, Md. – Six-year-old Edith Fuller is the youngest speller in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a competition that allows students who are as old as 15 years old.

She was 5 years old when she beat out more than 50 students to qualify. And like the polished spellers who fare best, she repeated the word several times and calmly asked for the definition and language of origin.

Her first word on Wednesday was "nyctinasty," the movement of plants in response to the onset of darkness. She spelled it correctly. 

"I didn’t feel nervous," Edith said. "I felt good, actually."

Valerie Miller, a spokesman for the competition, said Edith has become a celebrity. The participants get "bee keepers" autograph books they all want her autograph, and everybody wants to meet her. 

The kindergarten student from Oklahoma told reporters that she hopes to invent a new kind of refrigerator. She also wants to be a professor of zoology. 

Her father, Justin Fuller, and mother, Annie Fuller, said the event's organizers allowed her to arrive late, so she wouldn't have to wait for an hour, because she still has difficulty sitting through a Disney movie.

The proud parents told a Tulsa World reporter that they discovered her talent when she was able to spell "restaurant" without having been taught the word.

The final round of the competition will be on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Local 10 News partner ABC News contributed to this story. 

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