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Virginia Girl Youngest In National Spelling Bee History

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Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest speller in the National Spelling Bee, adjusts the microphone to spell her word.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Lori Anne Madison, 6, of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest speller in the National Spelling Bee, adjusts the microphone to spell her word.

The second round of the National Spelling Bee is underway at National Harbor in Maryland and, for the first time in the tournament's history, a 6-year old takes the stage.

Little Lori Anne Madison is a second-grader from Woodbridge, Va. She is the youngest competitor in the spelling bee's 85 years. Today, Madison competed with top spellers from around the country — some as old as 13.

In the second round, she drew the word dirigible. She spelled it correctly and confidently and was met with a round of applause.

The pressure is mounting for some of her competitors. Drew Marino, 13, of Warrenton, Va., has never had to compete against someone so much younger than himself. "I'm not sure how I go about doing that, but I think she's really good," said Marino.

The final competition will be Thursday. That's also when the 6-year-old word wonder will give her first and only press conference to the national media.

If she wins, she'll take home a prize of $30,000.

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