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The Youngest Contestant in this Year's Scripps National Spelling Bee Has Been Disqualified

Time logo Time 1/06/2017 Ryan Kilpatrick
Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Oklahoma. © Alex Wong-Getty Images Edith Fuller of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

She came, she saw, she spelled. But 6-year-old kindergartener Edith Fuller, the youngest wordsmith ever to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, will not be participating in the finals.

ABC Buffalo reports that Fuller, who correctly spelled the words "nyctinasty" and "tapas" onstage in National Harbor, Maryland, was disqualified from the finals due to her performance on a written test. Better luck next year.

Fuller, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was just five years old when she qualified for the bee in March. Her competitors range from eight to 15 years old, according to Scripps statistics. The largest contingent of participants are 13 years old.

Although spellers must be no older than 15, there is no minimum age to qualify. Two other six-year-olds have gotten through in previous years, but Fuller is younger than both, according to ABC News.

The oldest of four children, Fuller is homeschooled. Her parents say they discovered their daughter’s talent during a family game and helped her study for the big stage in 20-minute sessions, reports  CBS News.

As well as being an aspiring zoologist, Fuller plays the piano, sings in her church’s children’s choir, and is a big fan of hide and seek.

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