Personal Lives

Youngest-Ever Spelling Bee Contestant Out-Argues Her Trial Lawyer Father


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The youngest ever contestant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that begins today is 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison.

Lori Anne’s mother, Sorina Vlaicu Madison, teaches health policy part-time at a local university, report the Washington Post, the Scripps Howard News Service and the Associated Press. Lori Anne’s father, Alex Madison, is a lawyer.

Lori Anne qualified for the national competition by winning the spelling bee in Prince William County. She read her first book before the age of 2, competes in swim meets, and won top honors last year in national exams on mythology and etymology. She hopes to be an astrobiologist when she grows up.

Sorina Madison tells the Washington Post her daughter has already mastered the art of argument, debating the necessity of eating her vegetables and the health benefits of iron-enriched animal crackers. She made a similar point in an AP interview. “She out-argues both of us, and my husband is a trial lawyer,” Sorina Madison said.

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