Speller's journey shows how tough national bee has become

At 6, Edith Fuller is the youngest speller to ever make it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The top spellers from around the United States are in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

As Twyman and friends watch the finals "together" Thursday night via video call, they'll play a drinking game that celebrates spelling bee tropes.

Even if one of the favorites ends up winning, the bee still has plenty of surprises. Next year he will begin learning Spanish in school.

You would think we'd find some of our unusual Louisiana words like Tangipahoa or Natchitoches, but giraffe tops the list this year.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has had two previous 6-year-old competitors -- in 2012 and 2016 - but Edith is the youngest competitor in history based on her birthday, according to Scripps. No one had heard of her prior to that. She listens to most top hit music and has just started listening to Hamilton: An American Musical, which she really enjoys. She loves sports like track and cross country. There's more information available about kids in the bee, and champion spellers have increasingly fit a familiar profile.

"I've kind of been trying to relax", she said about her strategy. And so far, she's having fun. This year, the bee added a second written and vocabulary test that the remaining spellers will take before the prime time finals on Thursday.

Six foreign nations are also represented - the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan and South Korea.

"The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a tough competition and so our national coaches take their time to prepare the winners to ensure they are ready to take on the challenge and this year was no exception with Lily", Mrs. Techie-Menson said.

Floridians tend to not be able to spell the word "receipt".

290 out of 291 in the competition, completed a written exam Tuesday morning that will help determine who advances to the finals later this week.

The victor of the National Spelling Bee gets a $40,000 cash prize from Scripps, a $2,500 US savings bond from Merriam-Webster and appearances on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"


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