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12-year-old Indian-American wins Nat Geo Bee contest

Source: PTI
May 26, 2016 10:12 IST
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Seven of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans.

Nat Geo Bee contest winners

IMAGE: This year's National Geographic Bee winner Rishi Nair (center, in black shirt). Photograph: Kind Courtesy National Geographic 

Indian-American students have swept the prestigious Nat Geo Bee competition, securing the first three positions for this year's National Geographic Bee championship finals.

Rishi Nair, 12, a sixth grader from Florida took top honours at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C.

As National Geographic Bee champion, Rishi received a USD 50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.

This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament.

Eighth-grader Saketh Jonnalagadda, 14, from Massachusetts was the runner-up and recipient of the USD 25,000 college scholarship.

Third place and a USD 10,000 college scholarship was grabbed by Kapil Nathan, a 12-year-old sixth-grader from Alabama.

The final question, which clinched the win for Rishi, was: "A new marine sanctuary will protect sharks and other wildlife around Isla Wolf in which archipelago in the Pacific Ocean?".

The answer was: "Galapagos Islands".

Rishi is the second Florida student to win the National Geographic Bee.

In 2010, eighth-grader Aadith Moorthy of Palm Harbor was the national champion.

In fact it was a nail-biting, seven-question final round between Rishi and Saketh. Seven of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans.

The seven other finalists, who each won USD 500, were Grace Rembert of Montana, Rishi Kumar of Maryland, Pranay Varada of Texas, Lucas Eggers of Minnesota, Samanyu Dixit of
North Carolina, Thomas Wright of Wisconsin and Ashwin Sivakumar of Oregon.

Indian-American students have consistently performed exceptionally well at various bee competitions over the years.

The spelling bee competition has produced Indian-American champions for eight consecutive years.

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