A 14-year-old Indian-American student, Pranay Varada has won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition, maintaining the dominance of the community in the contest.
Varada, an eight grader from Texas has won USD 50,000 in scholarship and other prizes. And soon after bagging the coveted competition, which for the past one year has been dominated by Indian-Americans said, “I was absolutely sure I could win that challenge.” “Having done this for such a long time and winning it now, it is just a feeling of satisfaction.”
The eight grader who was a runner up last year did not wanted to give any chance this time. Varada was declared the winner as he won the first tie breaker question when he correctly identified the Kunlun Mountains as the 1,200 mile range that separates the Taklimakan Desert from the Tibetan Plateau.
Another Indian-American from New Jersey, Veda Bhattaram finished third at the finals held in the US, while Thomas Wright from Wisconsin was declared the runner up. Wright received USD 25,000 and Bhattaram got USD 10,000 in scholarships.
This year, six of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans. Indian-Americans have won the National Geographic Bee competition for the last six consecutive. Rishi Nair, a sixth grader from Florida, had won the contest last year.