WASHINGTON – A 14-year-old eighth-grader from Texas with an impressive knowledge of rivers, mountain ranges, borders and cultures has won this year’s National Geographic Bee.
Pranay Varada of Irving, Texas, won Tuesday after a tense contest against another 14-year-old, Thomas Wright, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Both answered five championship-round questions correctly, moving the bee into a sudden-death tiebreaker. Pranay won by correctly identifying the Kunlun mountains, a 1,200-mile range along the Tibetan plateau.
Pranay, who goes to school in Carrolton, Texas, was a veteran geography bee competitor who finished in sixth place last year. He won a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.
Pranay’s mother was in tears, saying he worked all year to return for a win.