WASHINGTON: Rishi Nair, 12-year-old Indian American student, has won the prestigious USD 50,000 National Geographic Bee competition in which Indian-origin contestants maintained their dominance by sweeping all the top three slots.
Nair, a sixth grader from Florida took top honors at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters here.
As National Geographic Bee champion, Nair 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. Last year Karan Menon had won the competition.
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 Nair, 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”.
Nair, whose parents hail from Kerala, 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 Nair 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.–PTI